MİDDLE EAST

People of Idlib see migrating to Europe as last resort

Some 40,000 people have fled their homes over the past 10 days due to airstrikes

Anadolu Agency

Civilians displaced from their homes in Syria's northwestern Idlib province during the country’s protracted conflict say their “last resort” is to migrate to Europe.

Some 40,000 people have fled towards the north of the province over the past 10 days in fear of the Bashar al-Assad regime and Russian-backed airstrikes.

The regime and its allies’ airstrikes started in northern Hama, southern and southwestern Idlib on Sept. 4, while the intensity of the attacks have decreased over the past three days.

In the past 11 days, some 8,000 families have migrated to refugee camps near the Turkish border and different areas north of the country, according to an NGO in Syria.

Some civilians took refuge near the observation points of the Turkish Armed Forces, as they think they are more secure.

Ahmed Semmu, who is only one of the thousands of displaced residents due to the airstrikes, told Anadolu Agency of his near-death experience.

“Last week, the regime barbarically targeted the whole region by warplanes and artillery fires. We’ve narrowly escaped death,” Semmu said.

“Those who fled their homes are now staying under olive trees and or in tents,” he added.

‘We are here as long as Turks are’

Stressing that the areas where the Turkish Armed Forces set up their observation points are not targeted by the airstrikes, Semmu said: “We do not want to leave our soils. As long as Turks are here, we will be here as well.”

Zeanif Hacci, another resident of Idlib, said: “We do not want food or beverages. We want this issue to be resolved.”

“If the strikes do not stop, we will have to migrate to Turkey and then to European countries,” he added.

Halit Sayel, who lives in Idlib’s Tal Dam village, complained about the airstrikes, saying the majority of his village was destroyed and had become uninhabitable.

“Our villages are under bombardment. We’ve fled to areas close to a TSK [Turkish Armed Forces] observation point on Sirman hill because we know they [observation points] are not hit [by airstrikes]," Sayel said.

He went on to say that they would certainly return to their village if the bombardment stops, but will have to migrate if it does not.

Since the beginning of September, at least 30 civilians have been killed in Idlib and Hama, and dozens injured, by airstrikes and attacks by the regime and Russian warplanes, according to the White Helmets civil defense agency.

The Syrian regime has recently announced plans to launch a major military offensive to the area, long controlled by various armed opposition groups.

The UN warns that such an offensive would lead to the "worst humanitarian catastrophe in the 21st century"

Idlib locals flee to Turkish-controlled areas for safety
Yeni Şafak

Idlib locals flee to Turkish-controlled areas for safety

The locals of Syria's Idlib have started to flee as fears of a looming offensive by the Assad regime and his allies grip the province.


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