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The United States urges Syria and all parties to allow earthquake aid to reach those in need

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WASHINGTON (RockedBuzz via Reuters) – The U.S. government on Sunday called on Syria and all parties to immediately grant humanitarian access to all in need across the country after Monday’s earthquake and severe aftershocks that killed at least 33,000 people.

“All humanitarian assistance must be allowed to pass through all border crossing points, and aid distribution must be permitted without delay to all affected areas,” said a White House National Security Council spokesman.

Washington has called on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to grant immediate access to humanitarian assistance to all who need it, without exception, and urged him to follow through on a blanket authorization for humanitarian assistance deliveries.

A UN spokesman on Sunday said earthquake aid from government-controlled parts of Syria into opposition-held territory was being blocked by “problems of approval” with a hardline group. The issue presents an additional challenge for aid workers trying to reach the northern regions affected by Monday’s earthquake.

Of the 3,500 deaths reported so far in Syria, most have occurred in the northwest, in territory largely held by the Islamist group Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS).

“The United States stands with the Syrian people during this humanitarian crisis,” the spokesman said.

“President Biden was clear when he said that the United States was ready to provide any assistance to the Syrian people and we continue to deliver on that commitment.”

(Report by Andrea Shalal; editing by Diane Craft)