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Syria tells UN it will grant aid access via Bab al-Hawa

The announcement comes two days after the UN Security Council failed to reauthorize its vital cross-border aid operation into Syria.
Vehicles carrying the first UN delegation to visit rebel-held northwestern Syria, arrive through the Bab al-Hawa border crossing with Turkey on February 14, 2023.

WASHINGTON — The Syrian government says it will grant the United Nations "permission" to use a border crossing with Turkey to deliver humanitarian assistance for the next six months, according to a letter obtained by Al-Monitor. 

Syrian Ambassador to the UN Bassam Sabbagh said Thursday the Syrian government has “taken the sovereign decision to grant the United Nations and its specialized agencies permission to use Bab al-Hawa crossing … in full cooperation and coordination with the Syrian government."

According to the letter, which was sent to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and UK Ambassador Barbara Woodward and circulated to council members, the access will last for six months beginning Thursday. 

The Syrian announcement comes two days after the Security Council failed to reauthorize its cross-border aid mechanism, which for nearly a decade has allowed the UN and its partners to deliver food, medicine and other lifesaving assistance to areas outside the control of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government. 

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