The assessments of Western experts and participants of the Astana format on the situation in Syria differ.
The UN Security Council extended the validity of a cross-border operation to deliver international humanitarian aid to war-torn Syria from neighboring Turkey. This happened after representatives of Russia, who threatened to veto this operation, compromised with another member of the Security Council – the United States.
Both the United States and Russia stated the importance of the fact that all 15 countries – permanent and non-permanent members of the Security Council -voted unanimously for the continuation of the UN mission in Syria.
“[Syrian] parents will be able to sleep more comfortably today, knowing that their children will be fed within the next 12 months. The humanitarian agreement that we have reached here will literally save lives,” the US Permanent Representative to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, said.
“We hope that this will be a turning point, corresponding to the line that Presidents Putin and Biden outlined at the condemnations in Geneva,” said Russian Permanent Representative to the UN Vasily Nebenzia. “This demonstrates that we can cooperate when there is a need for it, as well as the [political] will.”
Political analysts feared that a clash between Western countries and Russia was brewing in the UN Security Council. The fact is that the current mandate for cross-border deliveries of humanitarian aid to the north-western regions of Syria expired on July 9. Now, these areas are controlled by forces opposed to the regime of Bashar al-Assad.
Before that, Moscow used the right of veto, saying that humanitarian aid was being diverted for other purposes. For this reason, since last year, aid has been delivered to Syria only through one checkpoint.
The population of Syria, meanwhile, is living in conditions of a severe humanitarian crisis. For ten years now, the bloody civil war has not stopped in Syria. According to UN estimates, at least three million Syrians in the northwest of the country cannot exist without humanitarian assistance from abroad. There are 1,250 refugee camps located in Idlib province alone. Half of the residents there are children. This region does not have access to waterways, and almost all aid comes from neighboring Turkey.