Last updated: 30 July, 2014

UN reconsiders aid deliveries to Syria from Iraq

The United Nations is pressing on with cross-border aid convoys to Syria from Turkey and Jordan but is reviewing plans to send relief from Iraq, the top UN aid official said Wednesday.

The UN Security Council decided this month to set up the aid deliveries without the Syrian government’s consent from four crossing points to help millions of civilians in rebel-held areas.

UN humanitarian relief coordinator Valerie Amos said more relief trucks should be crossing into Syria “in the next few days” after a first nine-truck convoy from Turkey delivered food, shelter, water and sanitation supplies on July 24.

“Given the volatile situation near the Iraqi border, we will review when we can start using the Al-Yarubiyah crossing point,” Amos told the UN Security Council.

Islamic State fighters, who launched an offensive last month in Iraq, have seized control of the Al-Yarubiyah border check.

Amos told the Council that attacks on civilians in Syria were continuing “in flagrant violation of the most basic principles of international humanitarian and human rights law.”

Attacks on hospitals and other medical facilities at their highest level since December 2012, she said.

Aid deliveries dropped in July with both the Syrian government and some opposition groups imposing restrictions on areas they control, said Amos.

More than 10.8 million Syrians are in need of aid out of a total population of 22 million, according to UN officials, who have repeatedly accused Damascus of impeding deliveries of life-saving supplies.