The Syrian regime gets in the way of a myriad of overseas rescuers and emergency aid supplies reaching victims in the country, with borders tightly closed, where more than 25 million lives have been lost since Monday’s devastating earthquakes. Data show that 90 percent of northwestern Syria's citizens will be at severe risk.
Aleppo, Hama, and Latakia regions, located in northwestern Syria, have almost zero access to international aid and rescue teams, although they have borne the brunt of the recent catastrophe, reported The New York Times on Tuesday (local time). Rescue crews are at bay as the only transit route from southern Türkiye to these rebel-held provinces is closed down.
Back in 2021, the Bashar al-Assad regime and its military and economic supporter, Russia, blocked access routes to the rebel-controlled northwestern parts of Syria, a country still at war for 13 years, said The New York Times. Only the Bab al-Hawa Border allowed overseas rescue teams to have direct access. However, Monday’s earthquakes destroyed the roads, leaving them closed and inaccessible. As of now, there is no way of sending rescue supplies to the victims in the affected Syrian regions. It reported that cargo trucks loaded with architectural materials and first aid supplies are stuck in a long line on the road to the Bab al-Hawa Border from Türkiye. Inevitably, the White Helmets, a civilian group officially known as Syria Civil Defense, is the only rescue team that carries out rescue missions in northwestern Syria, one of the hardest-hit areas in the recent disaster. A White Helmets volunteer told The Wall Street Journal that his hands are tied even when victims scream and ask for help buried under the debris.