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Rojava authorities call for reopening of al-Yarubiyah crossing

  2021-07-04  | 
 Zhyan News Network
A woman carries a pot filled with water from cisterns provided by humanitarian organizations during a water outage in Hasakah, AANES, Syria, August 22, 2020. Photo by AFP
 Zhyan News Network

SULAIMANI – The Kurdish-backed Autonomous Administration in North East Syria (AANES) on Monday (July 4) called on the United Nations and the international community to open the al-Yarubiyah border crossing, saying millions of people including internally displaced persons (IDPs) are in dire humanitarian situation. 

“We appeal to and the United Nations to separate the humanitarian situation from the political interests of some countries, and to contribute to saving our besieged people by supporting the efforts to reopen the al-Yarubiyah crossing,” the AANES said in a statement.

“Re-opening the al-Yarubiyah border crossing will be the right decision to correct the course of the international responsibilities towards our people,” referring to the main artery in Rojava connecting Hasakah governorate to Iraq’s Nineveh governorate.

In 2014, the UN Security Council (UNSC) authorized a cross-border aid operation into Syria in 2014 at four points. In 2020, it reduced that to one point from Turkey into a rebel-held area in Syria due to Russian and Chinese vetoes over renewing all four., which will expire on July 10.

The AANES said that close of the border point “aggravated the humanitarian situation.”

“NES, inhabited by more than 5 million, suffers from a difficult humanitarian situation in all respects, especially after the Turkish invasion and occupation of parts of NES,” it stated, referring to North East Syria, also known as Rojava. 

The 15-member UNSC is negotiating a resolution, drafted by Ireland and Norway, aiming to authorize aid deliveries through two crossings: one from Turkey and one from Iraq, but veto-power Russia - an ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad - has questioned the importance of the cross-border aid operation, arguing that aid can be delivered to northern Syria from the capital Damascus.

On June 30,  Russian Envoy for the UN Vassily Nebenzia dismissed the idea of the reopening of a border crossing with Iraq as “non-starter", saying he is only discussing a possible extension of UN approval for a crossing from Turkey.

On June 25, US Ambassador to Syria Linda Thomas-Greenfieldat the UNSC urged the renewal for Bab al-Hawa connecting Idlib with Turkey, and the reinstating of reinstate Bab al-Salam near the Turkish border areas and al-Yarubiyah.

“This dire humanitarian crisis directly informs the political situation. If we cut off cross-border aid, we further destabilize the region – it will encourage more internally displaced people to flee,” Thomas-Greenfieldat briefed the council.

She called on the UNSC to “reauthorize and expand UN cross-border humanitarian assistance in order to give the Syrian people a future. A future for themselves. A future for their children. And a future that leads us to a sustainable, just peace.”

A resolution needs nine votes in favor and no veto from any of the five permanent members: Russia, China, the United States, France and Britain. 

The council has been at odds on Syria. Russia has vetoed 16 resolutions related to Syria and was backed by China for many of those votes, according to Reuters. 

(Zhyan English)