Syria conflict: U.N. Security Council OKs strengthened aid to rebel areas

The Security Council on Monday authorised humanitarian access without Syrian government consent at four border crossings into rebel-held areas from Turkey, Iraq and Jordan, although Syria has warned it deems such deliveries an attack. The unanimously adopted resolution establishes for 180 days a monitoring mechanism for the loading of aid convoys in neighboring countries, which will notify Syrian authorities of the “humanitarian nature of these relief consignments.” The United Nations says about 10.8 million people in Syria need help, of which 4.7 million are in hard-to-reach areas, while another 3 million have fled the conflict.

The consent of the Syrian authorities will no longer be necessary.

Sylvie Lucas, Luxembourg’s U.N. ambassador

The new resolution allows aid deliveries across al-Yarubiyah on the Iraq border, al-Ramtha on the border with Jordan and Bab al-Salam and Bab al-Hawa from Turkey. Both the Turkish crossings have fallen into the hands of militant Islamist fighters who have taken swaths of Syria and Iraq in the past month. Western diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity, admitted the resolution was not as ambitious as the initial text, which demanded blanket cross-border access. However, they said the four crossings could allow delivery of humanitarian aid to nearly 2 million people.