Turkey, World, Middle East

13k civilians flee Syria’s Idlib de-escalation zone

Attacks by the Assad regime and its allies force thousands of people to leave their homes

Mehmet Burak Karacaoglu and Esref Musa   | 17.01.2020
13k civilians flee Syria’s Idlib de-escalation zone

IDLIB, Syria

Around 13,000 civilians fled their homes in the western and southern countryside of Aleppo province due to attacks by the Assad regime and its allies.

The displaced civilians headed to areas near the Turkish border due to the attacks that have been underway for two days which forced a total of 12,884 civilians to leave their homes, according to Syria's Response Coordination Group.

The civilians left their homes in Khan al-Asal, Kafr Naha and Ain Jara due to Russian airstrikes.

"I lived in the village of Khan al-Asal in the western countryside of Aleppo. We are fleeing attacks. But I do not know where to go. Probably we will go to the Dana region of Idlib," Civilian Ahmed Ali told Anadolu Agency.

Abdul-Razzak Rahhal said: "Due to intense attacks I left our village with my family of 19 people to Khan al-Asal because it was relatively stable. But now they are targeting Khan al-Asal. We are leaving it and don't know where to go," he said.

Due to the increasing displaced population, the tent camps in Idlib fail to meet the need of war-weary Syrians as there is not enough space to set up more tents. Thousands of families are currently in dire need of humanitarian assistance.

In September 2018, Turkey and Russia agreed to turn Idlib into a de-escalation zone in which acts of aggression are expressly prohibited.

Since then, more than 1,300 civilians have been killed in attacks by the regime and Russian forces in the de-escalation zone as the cease-fire continues to be violated.

Over a million Syrians have moved near the Turkish border due to intense attacks over the last year.

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 Turkey the world’s top refugee-hosting country.

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