Over 7,100 refugees shown up in Iraq from Syria within 7 days, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) stated on Tuesday, as Turkish forces targeted Kurdish regions after the U.S. withdrew soldiers.
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A majority of the individuals– three out of four– are ladies and kids, consisting of unaccompanied minors, UNHCR spokesperson Andrej Mahecic said at a press rundown in Geneva. Mahecic added that lots of “need psycho-social first aid” and that some witnessed the violence that has been taking place in the area this month.
The people crossed from northeast Syria into Iraq in between last Monday, Oct. 14, and this Monday, Oct.21 They are primarily being held at a camp at Bardarash, Iraq, which is being managed by the regional Board of Relief and Humanitarian Affairs, a UNHCR partner.
The arrivals detailed in this UNHCR report started a week after President Donald Trump revealed U.S. troops would be withdrawing from northeast Syria, leaving Kurdish forces with whom they had actually been allied with in the battle against ISIS.
2 days after Trump’s statement, on Oct. 9, as U.S. troops were withdrawing, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan revealed a Turkish operation had actually started in northeast Syria with the specified intention of ridding the area of terrorist threats. The operation targeted a number of the Syrian-Kurdish forces the U.S. had supported.
Following worldwide outcry, Vice President Mike Pence revealed in Turkey on Thursday, Oct. 17, that Turkey and the U.S. had concurred to a 120- hour “ceasefire,” giving Kurdish forces time to withdraw from a 20- mile-deep “safe zone” on the Turkish-Syrian border to be managed by Turkey.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu stated it was a “time out in Turkey’s operation” and “not a ceasefire.”.
By Friday morning, eyewitnesses reported that violence was still ongoing as it appeared Turkish artillery continued shelling Ras al-Ayn, a Syrian city on the Turkish border.
Trump said on Twitter Friday that Erdogan informed him “there was minor sniper and mortar fire that was quickly eliminated.”
The 120- hour “pause” ends Tuesday night.
Mahecic of the UNHCR said the refugees are being offered hot meals, transportation, shelter and recognition of unaccompanied minors, to name a few resources, which the camp at Bardarash has “a water network, an electrical power grid and a sewage system.”.
Nevertheless, Mahecic stated, those networks at the Bardarash camp requirement to be broadened as more people get here.