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The Takeaway: Will Russia kill UN's Syria aid mission?

Plus, Congress puts conditions on Egypt's annual security aid and the US plays down Biden's comments on the Iran nuclear deal.
Syria aid

Syria risks further humanitarian catastrophe if its top ally Russia shutters the last remaining aid corridor into the country’s rebel-held northwest, United Nations officials and Western diplomats warned on Wednesday. 

Lifesaving assistance for millions of Syrians is again on the line ahead of a Jan. 10 deadline for the UN Security Council to renew a resolution that permits food, fuel and other supplies to be sent from Turkey into parts of Syria that are outside the control of President Bashar al-Assad, whose government has a long history of weaponizing aid. 

“Not renewing that resolution jeopardizes the delivery of aid when people need it the most,” UN aid chief Martin Griffiths told the council on Wednesday, adding that more than half of Syria’s population is struggling to put food on the table. 

Russia believes the UN’s cross-border aid mechanism, which was initially set up in 2014, is a violation of Syrian sovereignty. Over the years, Moscow has successfully used its veto power on the council to reduce the number of delivery routes into Syria and has threatened to shut down the UN’s relief operation altogether. 

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