World, Europe

'Europe to face new refugee exodus if Turkey ignored'

Turkey’s ruling party spokesman warns of an impending humanitarian disaster in Syria's Idlib province

Sibel Morrow   | 04.02.2020
'Europe to face new refugee exodus if Turkey ignored' Justice and Development Party's (AK Party) Spokesman Omer Celik makes statements to media as AK Party Central Executive Board (MKYK) meeting continues at the AK Party Headquarters in Ankara, Turkey on February 04, 2020. ( Mehmet Ali Özcan - Anadolu Agency )

ANKARA 

Europe may face a massive refugee exodus if it ignores warnings by Ankara, Turkey’s ruling party spokesman said on Tuesday. 

Speaking at a news conference in Ankara, Justice and Development (AK) Party spokesman Omer Celik warned of an impending humanitarian disaster in Syria's Idlib province.

“If Turkey’s warnings are not taken into consideration, we warn everyone that a refugee exodus will affect Europe to a large extent,” Celik said.

The ongoing attacks by the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria and its allies forced some 40,000 civilians to flee their homes in Idlib, a de-escalation zone in northwestern Syria, over the last two days.

The exodus gained momentum in the central areas of Idlib, Ariah, Jabal Zawiya and Saraqib regions due to intensified attacks, according to Syria's Response Coordination Group.

The attacks by the regime forces, Iran-backed terror groups and Russian strikes stand as the main reasons behind the exodus.

The majority of the displaced people arrived at the camps near Turkish border while some others took refuge in the areas cleared of terror elements following Turkey's military campaigns.

With the latest displacements, the number of people displaced from Idlib and Aleppo since the beginning of last year has mounted to nearly 1.68 million.

Since the eruption of the bloody civil war in Syria in 2011, Turkey has taken in some 3.7 million Syrians who fled their country, making it the world’s top refugee-hosting country.

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