Russia and China are depriving millions of civilians who refuse to bow down to the Bashar al-Assad regime of much-needed humanitarian aid, said the head of Syria’s interim opposition government on Wednesday.
Abdurrahman Mustafa criticized Russia and China for its veto on Tuesday of the renewal of a mechanism which allows international humanitarian aid to be sent to Syrians.
The mechanism is to expire on July 10 and China and Russia vetoed the decree suggesting renewal of the contract.
“Russia and China’s veto is unacceptable. They are helping the Assad regime both in the field and in the international arena. Millions of civilians in need of help will be affected,” Mustafa said.
He noted that the veto came in the same day as a UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria report suggesting that the Assad regime and Russia are committing war crimes in Syria.
Mustafa said Russia is leaving millions of people homeless by supporting the Assad regime.
He urged the international community to protest, adding: “Despite Russia’s efforts, humanitarian aid to Syria should not stop.”
The National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, an umbrella group of Syrian opposition factions, called Russia and China’s approach an example of the “organized political terrorism” going on in the UN Security Council for years.
“Russia should not be allowed to vote on issues regarding Syria, specifically regarding humanitarian aid; having been the major party in crimes and violations of rights against the Syrian people. Russia is a party to conflict and it cannot be a judge on these issues,” their statement read.
– UN humanitarian aid
In order to send international humanitarian aid to Syria, a UN Security Council decision is needed.
The UNSC on Tuesday voted for the aid mechanism to be renewed.
Russia and China vetoed the decree put forward to the council by Germany and Belgium.
In line with the current decree, humanitarian aid to Syria can only be sent through Turkey, through Babussalam across Oncupinar, and Babulhava across Cilvegozu border gates.
After the vote, Russia announced it will suggest its own decree, which says the only aid to Syria should go through Babulhava for six months.
Last year, there were four border gates through which aid to Syria went, and two of these were through Turkey.
After Russia and China vetoed this last January, the number of gates reduced to two.
The gates, Ar-Ramsa between Syria and Jordan, and Al-Yarubiyya in Iraq, were shut down for aid transit.
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