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Turkish aid agency helps Syrians fleeing Idlib attacks

Large number of Syrians take refuge near Turkish border due to air, land attacks by regime, its supporters

Murat Paksoy   | 05.01.2020
Turkish aid agency helps Syrians fleeing Idlib attacks

ISTANBUL 

A Turkish aid agency provided humanitarian aid to people of Syria’s Idlib who escaped bombardments of regime and its supporters, and took shelter near the Turkish border.  

The Bashar al-Assad regime continue intensified air and land attacks on civilian settlements in northwestern Idlib de-escalation zone. 

While the civilian casualties are rising due to the attacks of regime and Iran-backed foreign terrorist groups, residents of Idlib, who fled their homes and came near to Turkish border, suffer the severe conditions of winter. 

Turkish relief agencies launched aid campaigns for the suffering people and Istanbul-based Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH) also accelerated efforts due to the humanitarian crisis in the recent days. 

Through the campaign, the IHH provided the people of Idlib with over 1,300 parcels of food, 350 parcels of convenience food, 304 parcels of clothing, over 5,750 diapers, as well as 300 baby formulas. 

Over 6,170 boots, 2,650 parcels of baby biscuits, 1,175 servings of hot food, 860 solar torches were also given. 

They were also provided with over 5,200 blankets, 7,5 tons of coal, 460 carpets, 343 personal care kits, as well as 970 coats. 

Thousands of liters of drinking water, as well as heating kits were also given to the needy. 

For their protection, some 300 tents were also sent to the area. 

Visiting the newly-set tent camps following the latest refugee influx to the region, IHH head Bulent Yildirim said there are around 7,000 tents, including the ones coming from other Turkish aid organizations. 

Yildirim said small houses were also being built for the orphan children and they would be completed soon. 

Since November, a wave of attacks by the Syrian regime and its supporters has resulted in the displacement of more than 328,000 civilians from Idlib, according to field reports. 

On Dec. 20, the Assad regime and its allies launched a military campaign mainly in the cities of Maarat Al-Numan and Saraqib as well as the surrounding rural areas, capturing 35 residential areas. 

Airstrikes on the region were halted following a visit to Moscow by a Turkish delegation led by Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Onal on Dec. 23.

Turkey and Russia agreed in September 2018 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 1 million Syrians have moved near the Turkish border due to the intense attacks this year. 

According to the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, Idlib province is home to around 3 million civilians, 75% of them women and children.  

* Writing by Sena Guler in Ankara

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