Russian Defense Ministry warns of worsening humanitarian situation in northeastern Syria

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MOSCOW, October 12. /TASS/. The humanitarian situation in the northern Syrian region of al-Hasakah near the border is deteriorating in the wake of Turkey’s military operation in the area, Major General Alexei Bakin, chief of the Russian center for reconciliation of conflicting sides in Syria, told reporters on Saturday.

According to the Russian general, as of today, “over 100,000 civilians, who are fleeing the areas of intense fighting, have gathered” in the towns of Qamishli, Hasakah and nearby inhabited localities.

“The hotline of the center for reconciliation of conflicting sides receives calls from local civilians reporting disruption in the functioning of healthcare, trade and housing services facilities,” Bakin stressed.

The Russian Defense Ministry stated that most of those areas in al-Hasakah are ruled by local governments, backed by the United States and its allies in the international coalition fighting against the Islamic State terrorist group (IS, banned in Russia).

“Given the self-governing bodies’ inability to take over the reins in the rapidly deteriorating situation against the backdrop of the US-led coalition’s factitious inaction, the future of local residents and arriving internally displaced persons is a cause of serious concern,” the defense ministry said.

According to Bakin, on Friday some settlements in the regions of al-Hasakah, Deir ez-Zor and Raqqa saw “the population’s spontaneous protests against the foreign intervention and in support of the restoration of Syria’s territorial integrity.”

“In order to avert the looming humanitarian disaster, we urge the international community to provide any assistance possible so that sovereignty of the Syrian Arab Republic can be restored in the country’s eastern regions in the shortest period of time,” Bakin emphasized.

“It is only the Syrian authorities that are capable of organizing deliveries of humanitarian aid to displaced persons in the shortest period of time and of preventing the collapse of the healthcare system and socioeconomic infrastructure in the Trans-Euphrates area,” he added.

On October 9, Ankara launched an offensive in north Syria dubbed Operation Peace Spring, which began with airstrikes on Kurdish units. The objective is to establish a safety zone in northern Syria for protection of the Turkish border. In addition, Syrian refugees could return to that area from Turkey, Ankara believes. Syria’s SANA news agency slammed Ankara’s operation as an act of aggression.

The Russian reconciliation center continues to fulfill the tasks assigned to them after the completion of the military campaign in Syria. They regularly travel around the country’s liberated areas to assess the humanitarian situation. The main efforts of the Russian military are now focused on aiding the refugees who are returning to their homes and evacuating civilians from the war-torn country’s de-escalation zones.


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