Turkey provided logistic support for swap deal of Syrians: Turkish MFA
In this photo released by Turkish Islamic aid group, IHH, a convoy carrying 338 people evacuated from two Shiite villages in northern Syria is heading toward Bab al-Hawa border crossing point with Turkey, in Syria, Monday, Dec. 28, 2015. AP PhotoTurkey provided logistic support for the evacuation of two besieged areas on Dec. 28 under a United Nations-sponsored agreement brokered by regional powers that are part of efforts by the U.N. to establish local deals on cease-fires and safe passage.
“During the course of a day-long operation, Turkey facilitated the safe exchange of injured people together with their accompanying family members from Zabadani, northwest of Damascus, and Fuaa and Kefraya, northeast of Idlib, who had long been besieged by opposing sides in Syria,” a written statement by the Foreign Ministry said Dec. 29.
Fighters from the besieged rebel-held town of Zabadani near Lebanon headed to Lebanon and then to Turkey before heading to other rebel-held areas of Syria as part of the deal.
Simultaneously, around 338 civilians and injured fighters trapped in Fuaa and Kefraya, two pro-government Shiite villages in the mainly rebel-held northwestern province of Idlib, headed to the southern Turkish province of Hatay to take a plane to Beirut, aid workers said.
THY transported Syrians
The injured and their companions were transported to Lebanon and Turkey by aircraft provided by Turkish Airlines, read the statement.
The ministry said the U.N. had sought Turkey’s assistance on the issue some time ago.
“Turkey, not being a party to the talks or the relevant agreement, did not let the U.N.’s call go unanswered, providing all the help and contribution for this operation to be realized through the mutual consent of the parties,” said the statement.