Russia and Turkey to reopen Syria’s Aleppo and Idlib’s crossing points.
International humanitarian aid pass through Al-Hawa border crossing point. Image Credit: Getty Images.
On Wednesday, Russia agreed with Turkey to reopen three crossing points in Northwest Syria, one in Aleppo and two near the Idlib de-escalation zone.
The reopening of the three crossings were suggested by Russia to Turkey to allow humanitarian aid to pass through.
There is an ongoing humanitarian crisis in North west Syria which is affecting more than 4 million people. A number of trucks were waiting to cross from Turkey to deliver supplies to Syrian territories. According to the World Food Programme (WFP), 12.4 million citizens out of 16 million were considered at risk of starvation.
Russia and Turkey side with different parties in the ongoing Syrian war. Turkey has recently complained that Russia’s jets attacked zones close to the Turkish border, and also in Idlib province, where Turkish-supported militants are roaming.
Russia which supports the Syrian regime, is believed to have proposed the reopening of the three crossing points for humanitarian aid to pass through, but it wishes that all humanitarian aid pass through Regime-held areas rather than United Nations’s four current channels: Jordan, Iraq and Turkey. Only one remained open, and it is Bab Al-Hawa in Turkey. Russia always opposed using these four channels for the delivering of humanitarian aid, and Russia has shown this by using its veto power at the UN security council to cut off all cross-border international humanitarian aid.
Levent Kemal, a Middle East political commentator commented about the recent reopening of the crossings.
This plan, if it happens, is actually the beginning of a Russian move to stop all cross-border humanitarian aid. Russia will first open these crossing points to allow the passage of commercial goods and humanitarian aid. Then, it will channel all the international aid to the regime-held areas.Levent Kemal, a Middle East political.
An expert on Turkish-Russian relations weighed in on these reopenings.
Leaving a region that was under Turkish control, civilians will be taking shelter in the regime-controlled areas after the opening of these crossings, as they are mostly worried about the presence of militants in their region — with all the security challenges they pose to daily life.Aydin Sezer, an expert in Turkish-Russian relations.
If what the expert, Aydin Sezer happens, civilians will move out from opposition-held areas, and Turkey could not use civilians as a pretext to discourage Russian airstrikes in Idlib.