Turkey hails UN extension of Syria cross-border aid

Turkey hails UN extension of Syria cross-border aid
1 min read
09 July, 2021
Ankara has welcomed the extension of a UN mandate to provide aid to rebel-held areas of Syria via crossings on the Turkish border, saying it was "essential" for "regional stability and security".
Millions of Syrians depend on aid arriving via the Turkish border [Getty]

Ankara welcomed the UN Security Council's extension on Friday of aid activity at the only border crossing from Turkey through which "essential" humanitarian relief reaches a rebel-held region of Syria.

The UN's cross-border aid authorisation for northwest Syria was due to expire on Saturday but will now be extended by six months, with a possible further six month renewal.

"UN aid sent through our border gate is essential for the continuation of an effective response to the humanitarian crisis in Syria, and for regional stability and security," the Turkish foreign ministry said.

"For this reason, we welcome the extension of the UN cross-border humanitarian aid mechanism operating through our country to meet the needs of the Syrian people," it added.

Turkish officials wanted the Bab al-Hawa crossing to remain open, with some fearing closure could push more Syrians to flee to Turkey.

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Turkey is already home to over 3.6 million Syrian refugees.

Around four million people live in rebel-held northwestern Syria, more than half displaced by the conflict raging in the country since 2011, when the regime of President Bashar al-Assad brutally suppressed pro-democracy protests.