UN extends cross-border delivery of humanitarian aid to Syria without government approval

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The U.N. Security Council has unanimously approved extending cross-border delivery of humanitarian aid to Syrians in rebel-held areas without Syrian government approval.

The resolution adopted Wednesday expresses grave distress at the "devastating humanitarian situation" and the fact that 12.2 million Syrians require urgent assistance including medical aid. This includes 7.6 million people displaced inside Syria, 4.5 million in hard-to-reach areas and 212,000 in besieged areas.

The resolution extends until Jan. 10, 2016 the authorization for U.N. agencies and aid organizations that assist them to deliver humanitarian assistance without approval from President Bashar Assad's government across conflict lines between government and rebel forces, and through four border crossings — two in Turkey, one in Iraq and one in Jordan.