“The U.N.’s use of border crossings dates to 2014 when the Security Council approved a plan to send aid to Syrians through four crossings, with Turkey, Iraq and Jordan, to reach civilians on both sides of the battle lines. Under Russian pressure, the Security Council later shrank the number of crossings the U.N. is authorized to use to one: Bab al-Hawa. In July 2020, the Trump administration secured a one-year extension for U.N. use of the crossing.

“‘Russia has been leveraging its Security Council chokeholds on these humanitarian crossings to win acceptance of Assad and roll back sanctions on his regime,’ said James Jeffrey, who served as the Trump administration’s special representative for Syria policy…”

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