Border crossings to Syria
Humanitarian care for millions of people at risk (Press Release)
The Society for Threatened Peoples (STP) warns about an impending deterioration of the already catastrophic humanitarian situation in Syria – especially if further border crossings are closed. Most of the currently open border crossings are located in areas that are controlled by the Assad regime or by Turkish-backed Islamist militias. "A UN mandate that had allowed for human aid deliveries without consent by the regime will expire on July 10 – so the Security Council will have to find a solution until Saturday to ensure that the deliveries will reach the needy people," demanded Dr. Kamal Sido, the STP's Middle East Consultant. "Also, the Syrian-Turkish border crossing Bab al-Hawa, which is currently controlled by the Turkish-backed Islamist militias, must remain open. It is crucial for aid deliveries to the people in the region." However, it would be necessary to implement international control to ensure that Turkey cannot use the border crossing to smuggle weapons, Islamist fighters, and looted goods.
It is absolutely necessary to allow for aid deliveries from outside the country – especially to the Kurdish-controlled areas. "The United States, Germany, and other NATO-states must advocate for a border crossing with permanent access to the north-east of the country," Sido emphasized. "There are around six million people living there, including 1.3 million IDPs – most of them Sunni Arabs, Kurds, Aramaeans, Armenians, Syrian Christians, and Yazidis." The only border crossing to the region had been closed down at the beginning of 2020, mainly at the instigation of China and Russia. Now, UN aid deliveries to the autonomous region are dependent on approval by the regime. "Russia is trying to instrumentalize the aid deliveries to support its vassal Bashar al-Assad, while Turkey is keen on removing the Kurdish autonomous administration," Sido added. "That's why Russia and NATO-member Turkey are cooperating so closely. They are giving the Kurds and other minority groups a choice between Assad's tyranny or submission to the pro-Turkish Sunni Islamist militias."
In the scope of this extortion policy, the IDPs are instrumentalized for geostrategic power play and cynical political machinations. While Russia and China are supporting the Assad regime at the United Nations and other international bodies, Erdogan and his Syrian militias can count on support by the other NATO-members, especially the United States and Germany.