UK regulator tells charities to consider suspending aid via Bab al-Hawa because crossing is controlled by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham
'British charities sending aid into Idlib could be at risk of committing terrorism offences if they use the Bab al-Hawa border crossing from Turkey into the Syrian opposition-held enclave, the UK's charity regulator has warned.
In an alert to charities, the Charity Commission said that Bab al-Hawa, the main supply route into Idlib, was reportedly under the control of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), a proscribed terrorist organisation in the UK, which "could incur financial benefit" from any deliveries of aid through the crossing.
Middle East Eye understands that, prior to issuing the alert, the commission wrote to a number of charities to raise concerns that they were using Bab al-Hawa.
Charities which are currently using the Bab al-Hawa crossing either directly or through partner organisations must consider the risks of committing an offence under UK Counter Terrorism Legislation ... and take appropriate action in the best interests of their charity," said the alert, which was published on Monday.
"This may include suspending or stopping the movement of aid via the Bab Al-Hawa crossing at this time or exploring alternative routes."
The alert also said that charities that had used the crossing since September should consider reporting themselves to both counter-terrorism police and to the commission if they believed or suspected that a terrorist financing offence had been committed.'
Read more: Charities warned that sending aid to Syria's Idlib could be a 'terror offence'