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First aid reaches Syria rebel-held areas since quake: border official

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An aid convoy reached rebel-held northwestern Syria Thursday, the first since a devastating earthquake that has killed thousands, an official at the Bab al-Hawa border crossing told Agence France-Presse.

“The first UN aid convoy entered today,” said Mazen Alloush, media officer at the crossing.

An AFP correspondent saw six trucks passing through the crossing from Turkey, carrying tents and hygiene products.

Alloush noted the delivery had been expected before Monday’s quake, but said: “It could be considered an initial response from the United Nations, and it should be followed, as we were promised, with bigger convoys to help our people.”

The aid delivery mechanism from Turkey into rebel-held Syria through the Bab al-Hawa crossing is the only way UN assistance can reach civilians without navigating areas controlled by Syrian government forces.

While the crossing itself was not affected by the 7.8-magnitude quake, the road leading to it was damaged, temporarily disrupting operations, a UN spokesman said on Tuesday.

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