UN agrees to extend cross-border Syria aid by six months


The United Nations Security Council is set to continue crucial cross-border aid to millions of people in northwestern Syria until January, according to diplomats, after days of wrangling with Russia over the huge operation.

The 15-member Security Council is expected to vote on the draft resolution for a six-month extension – put forward by Ireland and Norway on Tuesday..                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

The operation to deliver food, medicine and shelter to the opposition-controlled area of Syria began in 2014 but expired on Sunday.

The United States, France and the United Kingdom have argued six months is not long enough for aid groups to plan and operate effectively, but a proposal for a one-year extension, which was supported by 13 council members, was vetoed by Russia on Friday.

Russia says the UN aid operation violates Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and that more assistance should be delivered from inside the country. It earlier put forward a draft for a six-month extension, which the council rejected.

A resolution needs nine votes and no vetoes by Russia, China, the US, France or the UK in order to pass.

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