SOHR exclusive | Humanitarian crossings signal life of Syrians as part of international political bazaar • The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

SOHR exclusive | Humanitarian crossings signal life of Syrians as part of international political bazaar

The file of the humanitarian aid is still annoying the Syrian people as well as the international society which has used the issue as a political card to give pressure on certain sides to enhance the authority of another.

Some observers believe that Moscow uses the issue of humanitarian crossings to enter UN aid to Syria as a card to promote the regime authority, given Russia is interested in crippling the UN endeavors for reopening three crossings to alleviate the sufferings of millions of Syrians who aren’t controlled by the regime in north and northeast Syria.

Analysts see that Moscow seeks to press the Syrian opposition to force it to offer concessions for serving the regime with regard to aid access.

Moscow used the veto right in the UNSC in July 2020 over some points of entering humanitarian aid to Syria which had provoked then wide argument.

Syrian politician Soliman al-Kafiry told SOHR, “major world powers who are active in the Syrian crisis bear the responsibility of closing the crossings that pass humanitarian aid to the Syrians, most prominent of which is the remaining crossing of “Bab al-Hawa” located at the border with Turkey.”

He wondered, “who is the beneficiary side of closing the crossing,” deeming the opening and the closure of the crossing is a translation of political considerations that could be military not just humanitarian reasons.

Al-Kafiry pointed out that humanitarian aid is used to serve political agendas among regional influential countries that have relations with the regime either the Turkish and the Russian or the opposition stand in the region.

He inquired whether “the people conditions have been changed at the security and living conditions levels to close or open the Bab al-Hawa crossing?”

“What is important for me in light of my humanity borders is securing aid at the right time to ensure continuity of life, which is a normal right for humans in food and health,” the political analyst added.

The analyst said situations related to humanitarian aid could be summarized into two topics: the first considered the crossing as a necessary life issue for security entry of aid and accordingly it should remain open while the other opinion considers closing that crossing and providing aid via an unknown path, the latter serve the Russian position and their connection with the regime. The Russian approach justifies the closure of the crossings due to its widening geographic scale that weakens justifications of boosting the armed forces and factions in those areas.

Al-Kafiry called for allowing aid to pass and distribute it far from poisonous political agendas that employ life of millions for authoritarian objectives.

On the other hand, Aly Saigh, member of the National Coordination Committee for Democratic Change told SOHR that “the crossings have become an indispensable part of the political bazaar, a mean for causing manipulation among the international parties, and a field for concluding international deals without paying any attention to the humanitarian issues.”

Saigh added that “though some countries always pledge respect for human rights, those rights remain slogans when it comes to their interests.”

“When interests conflict, those countries show indifference to the suffering and woes of the Syrian people while the Syrian crisis is used to pass agendas of the active players in the Syrian crisis,” he said.

The opposition activist added that “there is consensus over the general lines between Russia and the US in the Syrian issue and the aid problem while differences between them remain on the minor details.”

Such consensus has been reached in accordance with Kerry-Lavrov deal, give the Syrian file is associated with other files in the region like the Iranian nuclear and the Palestinian-Israeli and Turkish files, he explained out, adding that the consensus has been also associated with explanations of the international resolutions like Geneva statement and resolutions number 2254 of 2015 and the other decisions and the related issues of political transition, reconstruction and the file of the arrested and lost people.

Saigh illustrated that “there is no doubt that all Syrians wait for a settlement for their tragedy and aspire to embody a path for a solution even with low-ceil expectation.”

“Russia uses that humanitarian file to receive concessions from the US and the west on one hand, and on the other, Russia seeking by exploiting that issue to reaffirm the legitimacy of the Strain regime and sort, administer and distribute the aid as well as giving pressure on Turkey and prevent it from entering the aid trough its lands,” he said, adding that Turkey has gained good ties with Russian over the Syrian file, while it couldn’t gain the trust of the US and the west.

He believes that the opposition abroad works according to agendas of the funding and supporting countries, so administering or not controlling the humanitarian aid file remained associated with achieving consensus between Russia and the US.

On June 28, in Rome, a minor international committee that including many countries met to discuss the Syrian crisis and the issue of the crossings and means of prolonging the duration of leaving Bab al-Hawa crossing opened. Also, the US side will discuss the opening of other humanitarian crossings like al-Ya’riyah “Tal Joker” border crossing with Iraq in the areas under the control of the Autonomous Administration for entering aid to that area where millions of Syrians are living.

Meanwhile, SOHR also appealed to the international players to provide aid for the Syrian civilians and to ensure access to their aid in different areas of control. SOHR deemed the closure of the crossing will create an unprecedented humanitarian crisis warning against taking such a step in the current sensitive time.

On June 23, SOHR reported that in a press conference held in al-Ameria camp, near Kafr Yahmol village in the northern countryside of Idlib, more than 80 humanitarian and medical organizations signed a joint statement calling for the renewal of the UN security council resolution of cross-border aid deliveries into north-west Syria region.

Meanwhile, Moscow is still insisting that the aid could be delivered under the supervision of Damascus even to the opposition-held areas.

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