The United States is pushing for more safe passage for UN humanitarian aid across the Turkish border into northwestern Syria as the death toll from two devastating earthquakes rises to more than 20,000.

Roads along the only United Nations-sanctioned border crossing known as the Bab al-Hawa were badly damaged in the immediate aftermath of Monday’s earthquake and the first UN aid convoy did not arrive in Syria until Thursday afternoon.

US officials are calling for a UN Security Council resolution that would immediately order the use of any and all access points for the delivery of urgent UN supplies to survivors, a US official told NBC News. the UN with knowledge of the negotiations in the security council.

The US move responds to a call by UN Secretary General António Guterres for member countries to explore all possible avenues to bring aid and personnel to the rebel-held area still reeling from civil war.

In 2014, UN humanitarian convoys were able to access northwestern Syria through four different access points along the borders of Turkey, Iraq and Jordan.

But UN Security Council approval of the safe passages has waned amid growing opposition from Russia and China, which say the crossings are a violation of Syria’s sovereignty. Now only a UN-mandated corridor across the Turkish border remains open.

A US-backed resolution to further expand UN humanitarian access to Syria is likely to encounter resistance from Russia, which remains an ally of Syrian regime leader Bashar al-Assad. As a permanent member of the Security Council, Russia can block approval of the measure.

“We will continue to make the case, countries around the world will continue to make the case,” State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters on Thursday. «And we certainly hope that Russia and all those who stand in the way hear and see these heartbreaking images from Syria today.»

Guterres also weighed in on Thursday, telling reporters this is a time for unity, not division.

“Of course, I would be very happy if the Security Council could reach a consensus to allow the use of more crossings. «We must put people first.»

In meetings Thursday with aid organizations, US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield expressed US support for additional cross-border access points into Syria, according to a reading published by the US Mission, to enable surrender of lives. savings assistance.

Both nations are still recovering from a magnitude 7.8 earthquake that hit Turkey and neighboring Syria in the early hours of Monday, qualifying as «large» on the official magnitude scale. Hours later, a magnitude 7.6 earthquake struck nearby.

More than 17,130 people have died in Turkey, according to the country’s disaster management agency. In Syria, more than 3,800 people have been killed, according to officials there.