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UN fails to extend Syria cross-border aid mission after Russian veto

Russia killed a compromise resolution that would have kept aid flowing into northwest Syria for another nine months.
A convoy of trucks carrying humanitarian aid is seen parked after crossing the Syrian Bab al-Hawa border crossing with Turkey, on July 10, 2023.

WASHINGTON — Faced with a Russian veto, the United Nations Security Council failed to renew its humanitarian operation in northwest Syria Tuesday, an action that will halt aid deliveries in the rebel-held territory at a time when needs have spiked. 

The 15-member council missed a July 10 deadline to renew the cross-border aid mechanism, which for nearly a decade has allowed the United Nations to deliver food, fuel, medicine and other assistance to areas outside the control of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government. Today, UN assistance reaches northwest Syria through a sole crossing on the Turkish border called Bab al-Hawa.

The United States and its allies pushed for a year-long renewal of the operation, which UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and international aid organizations say is the bare minimum required to ensure basic needs are met. 

A vote scheduled for Monday morning in New York was delayed as Russia, which sought a six-month extension, and the rest of the council's members tried to reach a consensus.  

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