Syria war: Turkey can't handle new 'refugee wave', says Erdogan

Syria war: Turkey can't handle new 'refugee wave', says Erdogan

Violating the cease-fire agreement between Turkey and Russia, intense attacks by the Syrian regime, Russia, and Iranian-backed groups in Idlib, northwestern Syria have forced 2,000 more civilians to flee the Syrian region in the last 24 hours, according to sources on the ground.

Syrian government forces have launched a fresh assault on Idlib in recent days to capture the rebel-held province with Russia's help.

More than 235,000 people have fled from their homes in Syria's rebel-held Idlib province, the United Nations says, as government forces step up their offensive on the area.

"If the violence toward the people of Idlib does not stop, this number will increase even more".

After a Turkish Cabinet meeting on December 24, presidential spokesman İbrahim Kalın said Turkey expects a halt to these attacks as soon as possible through a new cease-fire.

'We are closely following the process for an end to the attacks, and these attacks should come to an end immediately and implemented under a new ceasefire, ' he said.

Almost 80 civilians have been killed by air strikes and artillery attacks over the same period, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which estimates that more than 40,000 people have been displaced in recent weeks.

Idlib is dominated by the country's former Al-Qaeda affiliate, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham.

Syrian Bashar al-Assad regime, backed by Russian Federation and Iran, has reportedly promised to take back the rebel-controlled area and broke a ceasefire that was announced in August.

Since Thursday, regime forces have taken control of dozens of towns and villages in southern Idlib following battles with jihadists.

The TV channel clarified that at least 12 civilians were killed in an airstrike that targeted cities and towns in Idlib countryside, and it quoted sources in the opposition as saying that Russian and Syrian aircrafts carried out these raids.

The war in Syria, now approaching its ninth year, has devastated much of the country.

Since then, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and more than 10 million others displaced, according to United Nations officials.

The latest spike in violence comes after Russian Federation and China on Friday vetoed a UN Security Council resolution that would have extended for a year cross-border aid deliveries to four million Syrians, many of them in Idlib.

US President Donald Trump announced in October 2019 that the US will be withdrawing its forces from the Arab Republic, but eventually backtracked. Ankara regards the Kurdish militia as terrorists.

Related Articles