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DECEMBER 2020

UN Sends Humanitarian Aid To Idlib, Turkey Allegedly Follows Suit

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UN Sends Humanitarian Aid To Idlib, Turkey Allegedly Follows Suit

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On February 19th, the UN send a convoy of humanitarian trucks to Idlib, Syria.

According to Anadolu Agency, the world body sent 42 trucks, while other outlets claim they were 46.

The trucks, with supplies to be distributed among residents in urban areas of Idlib, as well as the surrounding countryside, passed through the Cilvegozu border gate in Turkey’s southern Hatay province.

The convoy reached Reyhanli district, Hatay state, in southern Turkey, before passing through the Gilo Gozo border gate towards Syrian territory.

Turkey too, reportedly sent humanitarian aid trucks to Idlib, 10 of them.

Turkey’s National Disaster Management Agency (AFAD) along with the Turkish Red Crescent, Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH) and charity organizations provided basic needs including food, coal, tents, heaters and cleaning materials.

It is also unclear if Turkey sent some more of its usual humanitarian aid that it sends to the “moderate opposition” in Idlib, such as howitzers, armored vehicles, ATGMs, and smaller arms.

According to Turkey, the civilians in Idlib are in dire need of its humanitarian aid and the protection of the Turkish-backed militants, as well as the Turkish Armed Forces.

Anadolu Agency reported that the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government is subjecting the civilians to “severe bombardment.”

Turkey refuses to acknowledge that in the 4 days since the entire western Aleppo countryside was liberated by the Syrian Arab Army, highways have been cleared, the Aleppo International Airport was opened for business, and people even celebrated on the streets that the “regime” forces have come out victorious, allegedly, against those that “care” the most about their well-being.

Potentially part of Turkey’s “humanitarian aid,” a new military column also entered Idlib on February 19th via Kafr Losin border crossing, north of Idlib, consisting of more than 140 military vehicles, personnel carriers, armored vehicles, tanks and heavy vehicles.

It is doubtful how welcome Turkey’s help is, if Afrin is any example of the possible scenario that could transpire. Two years after Turkey “liberated” Afrin, constant and large-scale violations of all sorts are continuing to take place against the local population.

Meanwhile, the US said that it would coordinate with Turkey on Idlib.

Speaking at the UN Security Council meeting in New York, Craft said Washington “unequivocally” rejects statements by Russian officials “falsely blaming Turkey for the escalation of the violence” in northwest Syria.

“The United States will continue to coordinate with Turkey on diplomatic approaches to restore a cease-fire to the Idlib de-escalation zone and achieve a pullback of Assad regime forces to 2018 Sochi ceasefire,” said Craft. “There is no doubt that the Assad regime and Russia, not Turkey, are responsible for orchestrating and executing this military offensive.”

No mention was made of the US reportedly arming militants with weapons, who subsequently use said weapons against civilians and the Turkish Armed Forces themselves in northeastern Syria.

In addition, along with the U.S. the envoys for the U.K. and Germany called for end to “Syrian regime attacks” on Turkey’s observation posts in Idlib. Again, no mention was made about the around 24 additional “observation posts” established by Turkey entirely outside of the Sochi agreements.

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