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Only one route remains open for international convoys bringing food, water and other aid to over 1 million Syrians besieged by civil war. Now, officials warn, Russia might try to shut it down or use it as a bargaining chip with world powers in another war, about 1,600 kilometers (1,000 miles) away in Ukraine.

Diplomats and experts said closing the corridor at the Bab al-Hawa border crossing with Turkey would almost certainly force thousands of people to flee Syria. That would worsen a refugee crisis in Europe and the Middle East that is already considered the world’s largest since World War II.

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