The Syrian Civil Defense accused Russia of exploiting the issue of humanitarian aid to rehabilitate the Assad regime and of using donors’ money to rebuild the Assad regime’s institutions.
In a statement issued on Thursday, the rescue group said that unfettered humanitarian access is a basic right that should not be subject to negotiations at the UN Security Council.
“As the UN mandate to bring cross-border aid into Syria is about to expire, the blackmail being practiced by Russia’s of humanitarian aid is becoming increasingly clear during the UN Security Council consultations. Russia is clearly seeking to serve its interests and the interests of its ally, the Assad regime,” the Civil Defense said.
The statement indicated that this blackmail is taking place “by linking the continuation of cross-border aid to concessions aimed at supporting the Assad regime and attempting to rehabilitate it politically.”
“The adoption of conflict lines to bring aid into northwestern Syria is just one of the methods to re-float the Assad regime and besiege the Syrian people. This policy is best evidence by the besieged al-Rukban camp.”
The Civil Defense stressed that “the mere acceptance by the international community of subjecting humanitarian aid to blackmail by the Assad regime and Russia is a clear legitimization of the use of aid as a weapon.”
It also stressed that “the efforts of the UN Security Council should focus on reaching a political solution and the protection of civilians, rather than be preoccupied with the cross-border delivery of humanitarian aid, especially in light of the existence of a legal framework that gives the United Nations the right to enter aid outside the Security Council.”
Meanwhile, the Syrian Opposition Coalition stressed the need for extending the UN mandate for the cross-border delivery of humanitarian aid under UN Security Council Resolutions 2165 (2014) and 2449 (2018). It also called for taking the necessary measures to save civilians and preventing Russia from exploiting humanitarian aid to serve its interests and those of the Assad regime at the expense of civilians in need in Syria.
(Source: SOC’s Media Department)