“We had just eaten when we heard a loud explosion near our house,” says a displaced woman
MADRID, Oct. 15 (EUROPE PRESS) –
The offensive initiated by the Turkish forces on October 9 has resulted in a displacement crisis that threatens to force 300,000 people to leave their homes in the main towns of Hasaka and Raqqa. More than 2,000 have reached the border with Iraq and have even crossed into Iraqi territory, according to humanitarian organizations.
The United Nations on Monday raised to 160,000 the provisional number of displaced by the Turkish offensive in northeastern Syria, of which some 70,000 would be minors. “The full humanitarian impact of the current military operation remains difficult to determine given the volatile situation,” said the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has warned in a statement of the possible displacement of 300,000 civilians, while the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has confirmed the first arrivals into Iraqi territory. On Monday, 184 people arrived from Syria, which would add another 200 who have crossed over Tuesday night.
“Many of the refugees have fled their homes in the Kobani area, some of them after walking three or four days,” said UNHCR spokeswoman Liz Throssell, who has confirmed that there are “another 2,000 people” in areas Syrians near the border.
UNHCR has already served 31,800 people for the latest escalation of tensions, of which 21,500 live in camps for internally displaced persons and another 11,550 reside in community shelters. The ICRC has also redoubled its work to help 515 families – more than 2,500 people – staying in Hasaka schools.
“We had just eaten when we heard a loud explosion near our house. My little children started crying. My husband and I took them, left the house and walked for hours,” says Um Ali, a 38-year-old woman living in Ain Issa . The family had no money to rent a car, so it took two days to get to Hasaka, where they feel “a little safer” in a school.
“We have not brought food, water, or mattresses,” he explains. The ICRC has stressed that the profile of these families corresponds mostly to women and children and recalled that the occupation of schools has caused collateral damage that “thousands” of students have been left without being able to go to class.
The organizations agree that Turkey's offensive against Kurdish militias is having tangible consequences on the civilian population, which runs the risk of running out of basic supplies. The ICRC fears that the city of Hasaka, where some 400,000 people live, will run out of water due to the effects of fighting over a nearby station.
UNHCR has also cited among the “immediate needs” the lack of documents of the displaced, to the extent that most of them have practically fled with the job and “the families have separated.” He has also advocated increasing psychological support for these people, many of whom are already dragging traumas of the long war.
The UN agency estimates that it needs an additional 31.5 million dollars (28.5 million euros) to meet the new needs that have arisen in Syria, although both this agency and other organizations recognize that it is not even known today. magnitude of the humanitarian crisis in the northeast area.