First UN aid convoy crosses into earthquake-stricken Syria through new crossing

14 February: Supplies arrive at the Bab al-Salameh crossing

The first UN aid convoy has entered rebel-held northwest Syria, which was devastated by last week's earthquake, through a newly opened border crossing.

According to the UN, 11 lorries arrived from Turkey on Tuesday at Bab al-Salameh.

After the earthquakes last week, which are believed to have left more than 41,000 dead in Turkey and Syria, many Syrians are incensed at the lack of aid for the country, especially to rebel areas.

On Monday, the Syrian government and the UN decided to use two more crossings.

The other is at al-Rai, which is also close to the Turkish border. According to the UN, the crossings will be open for three months at first.

On February 6 in the early morning hours while most people were still asleep, two strong earthquakes shook the neighboring Turkey's southeast.

The prospect of finding any additional survivors is dwindling.

Russia, Iran, and the United Arab Emirates, nations with cordial ties to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, started flying supplies to government-controlled areas of Syria shortly after the earthquake.

However, the UN did not begin delivering aid through Turkey to the opposition-controlled north-west until Thursday, despite the fact that 4 million people there were already depending on it to survive before the disaster.


The UN put the blame on the destruction of the roads leading to the Bab al-Hawa crossing, which up until now was the only land route that the UN Security Council had given it permission to use.

There will be no discrimination regarding who receives aid, the Syrian ambassador to the UN, Bassam al-Sabbagh, said on Tuesday on BBC Radio 4's World Tonight.

And he charged that the "terrorist opposition" that rules the north-west is to blame for the delay in opening new aid routes.

Separately, gunmen stormed a Syrian hospital on Monday night where a baby girl was being treated after being born under the ruins of her family's earthquake-damaged home, a hospital official was quoted as saying by the Associated Press news agency.

Although the official claimed that the attackers had beaten the facility's director, she refuted claims made on social media that they had attempted to abduct the infant named Aya.

Baby Aya in hospital
The earthquake claimed the lives of Baby Aya's mother, father, and four siblings.

Aya, whose name in Arabic means "miracle," has received thousands of adoption offers after she was found under the debris of a collapsed building in the northwestern town of Jindayris. She had her umbilical cord still attached to her when she was saved.

In the earthquake, her mother, father, and all four of her siblings perished.

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