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UN Warns Condition of Civilians Caught in Turkish Offensive in Syria

UN Warns Condition of Civilians Caught in Turkish Offensive in Syria

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND - The U.N. warns that conditions for hundreds of thousands of civilians caught in the midst of Turkey's military offensive in Kurdish-controlled areas of north-eastern Syria is rapidly deteriorating.

Turkey began its so-called Operation Peace Spring five days ago to oust the Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces, which it views as a terrorist organization. However, most of the West views them as key partners in the fight against Islamic State. The civilian "collateral" damage of the Turkish operation already is huge.

The U.N. office for the coordination of humanitarian affairs estimates more than 130,000 people are newly displaced. OCHA spokesman, Jens Laerke, said most displaced people are staying with relatives and host communities, but a growing number are living in collective shelters.

He said U.N. figures indicate up to 400,000 civilians may require assistance and protection as the war escalates in the coming period. He told VOA it will be difficult to provide this aid because of insecurity and limited access to people in need. He says a number of NGOs have scaled down their operations and relocated their staff.

"We do have staff that remain there. Of course, their ability to operate there and provide relief is severely restricted and hindered by the ongoing hostilities. And, as I mentioned also, local authorities are reportedly imposing some quite strict security measures at checkpoints," he said/

 

Aliqismet BADALOV,
“Khalq qazeti”

14 October 2019 11:25 -

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