UN Council Votes Unanimously For Access To Aid In Syria

Russia and China join demands for humanitarian aid for embattled Syrian civilians

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Fifteen Syrians died and 28 others were injured in a barrel bomb attack staged by helicopters of Syrian regime forces, February 22.

Updated 2/22, 3:50 EST

The United Nations Security Council voted unanimously for the first time Saturday to resolve Syria’s humanitarian crisis, demanding that the opposition and President Bashar Assad’s government provide access to humanitarian aid and deliver aid to millions of civilians across the country.

The resolution mandates both sides, but particularly Assad’s regime, to allow food, medicine and other essentials to reach besieged civilians, hundreds of thousands of whom are starving and lack medical aid after three years of brutal conflict. Russia and China had repeatedly opposed Security Council resolutions urging Assad to change course, but backed the current resolution.

Russia, Assad’s strongest supporter, insisted that the threat of sanctions for non-compliance be dropped from the resolution, reports the Associated Press, but the resolution does say the council will take “further steps” if the resolution isn’t implemented. 

“This could be a hinge-point in the tortured three years of a Syria crisis bereft of hope,” said U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. “This is all about saving innocent lives and relieving the burden on Syria’s neighboring countries.”

Some 200,000 Syrian civilians have been besieged in government-controlled territory, and 45,000 in opposition territory, where they face killings, torture, starvation, and bombings. Assad’s government has bombed civilian areas with barrels filled with powerful explosives, according to human rights activists, who said the death toll in the country has reached well over 100,000.

“This resolution should not have been necessary,” said United Nations General Secretary Ban Ki-Moon in a statement Saturday. “Humanitarian assistance is not something to be negotiated; it is something to be allowed by virtue of international law.”

Foreign Secretary for the United Kingdom, William Hague, said the resolution is an important step in providing aid to millions of Syrians, and called upon the Assad regime to cease indiscriminate bombing in Syria.

“The adoption of this resolution, on the initiative of the UK and our close partners, sends a clear message that the Assad regime cannot be allowed to starve hundreds of thousands of its own people into submission,” he said. “We will not hesitate to return to the Security Council if the Assad regime fails to meet the demands in this resolution.”

This story has been updated to include comments on the resolution by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

Additional reporting by Jay Newton-Small

24 comments
Jennifer Chaudry
Jennifer Chaudry

m­­y ro­­omate's s­­ister-­­i­­n-l­­aw ma­­kes $­­81 ho­­ur­­ly o­­n th­­e lap­­top . Sh­­e ha­­s be­­en fi­­red fr­­om wo­­rk f­­or f­­ive m­­onths b­­ut la­­st m­­onth h­­er pay­­che­­ck w­­as $­­20­­742 ju­­st wo­­rking o­­n th­­e lap­­top f­­or a few ho­­urs. loo­­k h­­ere.... w­w­w.­c­a­s­h­9­0.­c­o­m

Donna Creaser
Donna Creaser

About time' UN are you now going to manage It !!

Li Yuezheng
Li Yuezheng

Is wars going. Not people Freedom. Stop government law stop government wars. People together use people law For freedom Talk. For people. U.N. know. For people.

Syed Abdul Aziz
Syed Abdul Aziz

The Jews we killed by Hilter but now they behave like Hilter killing innocent people.To me Hilter n Natnayu is the samw

Syed Abdul Aziz
Syed Abdul Aziz

America destroy Iraq Afganistan Libya n many more countries but they are never called terrorist.What is the dofference

Ash Zee
Ash Zee

Let's just hope the aid gets into the right hands and not that of the terrorist!

Kurt Froehle
Kurt Froehle

Correct, but this is news that the whole world should hear. I don't see a proper coverage of this tragedy.

Anne Hogan
Anne Hogan

Thank God but what has taken so long? This should have happened years ago. The world has a lot to answer for.

Kurt Froehle
Kurt Froehle

I don't understand why time, hasn't published any news regarding the political killings that The Venezuelan government is summiting it's population.

Frank Saenz
Frank Saenz

Kind of looks like they way mexicans live

NateNheather Hill
NateNheather Hill

Get rid of assad and the mooslem brotherhood takes over. The world is better off with assad. He is a brutal dictator, but not a terrorist

Fa Ra Marz
Fa Ra Marz

shame on asad supporters,mr terrorist

Fa Ra Marz
Fa Ra Marz

asad is dictator and criminal,not trust to his regime