Over 100,000 Syrians in Idlib border camps return to their homes
IDLIB – Anadolu Agency
Vehicles carrying belongings of internally displaced Syrians drive back to their homes, as some people are afraid of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in crowded camps, in Dayr Ballut, Syria April 11, 2020. (REUTERS Photo)
Hundreds and thousands of displaced Syrians have started to return to their homes in war-ravaged Idlib province, after the cease-fire was ensured in the province, according to Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency.
Mohamed al-Hallaj, director of the Response Coordinators Team, told Anadolu Agency that over 100,000 Syrians, who were staying at camps, returned to their homes.
“Over 1 million civilians were displaced since last October. After around 40 days following the cease-fire, some 109,714 civilians, from about 19,500 families, returned to their settlements in Idlib, and its rural parts, and rural Aleppo,” Hallaj said.
About one million Syrians fled Idlib and its surrounding countryside in northwest Syria this past year after Russian-backed regime forces stepped up a campaign to retake the last rebel stronghold after nine years of war.
Fighting has calmed since March when Ankara, which backs some groups opposed to Bashar al-Assad, agreed to a ceasefire with Moscow, which has supported Damascus with heavy airpower.
Hallaj said that the Assad regime, and regime forces supported by Iran-backed militias, captures civilian settlement by their ground offensives, leaving no choice for other civilians, who are living in camps, to stay where they currently are.
The civilians who do not want to go back to areas, controlled by the regime, will continue to reside in camps near the Turkish border, according to Hallaj.
The civilians who are leaving the camps, are going towards areas cleared by Turkey’s Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch operations, Hallaj said.
“More civilians will return to their homes as aircrafts do not take off and attack,” he said.