Displaced Syrian family heading to Turkish border. File photo
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ALEPPO – Around 40,000 Syrians have fled fighting near Syria’s northern city of Aleppo towards the Turkish border after warplanes loyal to President Bashar al-Assad conducted several airstrikes on opposition-held areas, military and local sources reported on Wednesday.
Local activists confirmed that fighting around Aleppo city has become a serious threat to the fragile truce of the so-called cessation of hostilities, which came into force on February 27. However, the opposition delegation took a decision on Tuesday to suspend its participation in the formal peace talks in Geneva, especially with mounting attacks by the regime’s army forces on the opposition-held areas.
Meanwhile, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in a statement that the fighting in northern Aleppo resulted in the displacement of more than 40 thousand people to the camps and residential areas over the past few days.
Speaking to ARA News in Aleppo, rights activist Samir Dalati said that the majority of people have moved to the eastern suburbs and towards the strategic town of Azaz on the border with Turkey in addition to the refugee camps of the Bab as-Salam and Sijo.
“As thousands of civilians are heading to Azaz area, humanitarian needs keep increasing, ” Dalati reported.
The source pointed out that intensifying airstrikes [by pro-regime forces] on the opposition-held areas in northern Aleppo have made it difficult for international aid organizations get access to the residential areas, “which may deepen the crisis and increase Syrians’ misery”.
Also, Turkey has closed its border in front of everyone except for those who suffer from serious injuries or illnesses, a medical source told ARA News on Wednesday.
The opposition claims that Assad’s forces have violated the cessation of hostilities agreement to start a new offensive aimed at wresting control of Aleppo, which has been divided between the regime and the opposition for years.
On the other hand, the MSF announced that there are more than 100 thousand people trapped on the Syrian side of the Turkish border and that 35 thousand others have fled over the past week from the camps captured by the radical group of Islamic State (ISIS) or approached to from the battle front.
“There is no safe place to go .. we are trapped in this brutal and bloody conflict,” a Syrian displaced man told ARA News on the Turkish border.
Reporting by: Helin Saeed
Source: ARA News