WASHINGTON        -         The United Nations on Wednesday asked for the re-authorization of a cross-border aid mechanism for Syrians, warning of severe consequences in its absence. The Security Council failed to renew the mechanism on Dec. 20, 2019. The cross-border humanitarian operations carried out by the United Nations will close by Jan. 10 if there is no re-authorization by the Security Council, said Stephane Dujarric, spokesman of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. “We’ve been underscoring here repeatedly, almost on a daily basis, the alarming humanitarian situation in the northwest and the northeast of Syria. That situation would be markedly worse if we did not have cross-border operations.” “We very, very much hope that Security Council members will find a way forward and a solution in the days ahead,” he told a daily press briefing. The Security Council voted on two competing draft resolutions on the cross-border aid mechanism on Dec. 20, but failed to adopt either of them. The first draft prepared by Belgium, Germany and Kuwait, which sought the re-authorization of three of the four currently mandated border crossings for 12 months, was vetoed by Russia and China. The other draft, prepared by Russia, which would authorize only two crossings for a period of six months, failed to receive the required number of votes in favor to get adopted.