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US, allies press Russia to allow UN aid to Syria from Iraq

Though the United States and allied countries are working to convince Russia to reopen a border crossing between Iraq and Syria to UN humanitarian aid, Moscow could not only refuse but block aid through other points.
Russian soldiers stand near food aid being distributed to Syrians evacuated from eastern Aleppo, in government controlled Jibreen area in Aleppo, Syria November 30, 2016. The text on the bag, showing Syrian and Russian national flags, reads in Arabic: "Russia is with you".  REUTERS/Omar Sanadiki - RC195E2ECA60

The United States and its allies are lobbying Russia to re-establish access for a border crossing from Iraq to eastern Syria that is deemed critical to UN humanitarian aid deliveries to the northeast part of the war-ravaged nation.

There are mounting concerns, however, that not only will Russia refuse to do so but that it will also wield its veto power at the UN Security Council to block UN aid coming through the two remaining access points to northwest Syria via Turkey, sources familiar with the deliberations told Al-Monitor. Moreover, governments who want access restored are divided on how to handle Russia, they said, easing the Kremlin’s ability to impose its will.

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