Thousands of Turkmens flee to Turkey from Syria
HATAY - Doğan News Agency
AA photoMore than 3,000 Turkmens have fled Syria’s northwest for Turkey over the past three days, Turkish disaster agency AFAD stated on Feb. 1, after pro-Assad forces ramped up their attacks in the region.
“After the attacks spilled over to the Yamadi camp, the first group of 731 migrants, mostly babies, children, women and the elderly, entered our country on Jan. 29,” AFAD said.
It added that refugees were continuing to cross the Turkish border and a total of 3,128 people had crossed at the Pulluyazı village near the border town of Yayladağı in Turkey’s southern province of Hatay over the past three days.
AFAD said the refugees were being biometrically registered at the border. The families were either sent to live with their relatives or their sent to AFAD camps in Hatay, Gaziantep or Şanlıurfa, all provinces neighboring Syria that are already host to most of the Syrian migrants in Turkey.
Meanwhile, Hatay Governor Ercan Topaca said the number of people evacuated from the Bayırbucak region in the last four days has reached 4,019.
The total number of people who have fled the region to Turkey since the Nov. 24 downing of the Russian jet is now 5,694.
AFAD also stated that the Güveççi camp, which it established for Turkmens fleeing Syria’s Bayırbucak region, had also welcomed its first residents, with 162 Turkmens from Syria located at the camp so far and admittance continuing.
Some 202 officials from the Turkish Health Ministry, the Gendarmerie General Command, the General Directorate of Security, the Turkish Red Crescent, the Directorate General of Migration Management and the Hatay Governor’s Office have been appointed to coordinate the registration of the Syrian migrants, the AFAD statement added.
AFAD had said on Jan. 31 that 1,635 people had crossed into Turkey on Jan. 29-30. The group had previously taken refuge in the Turkish-built Yamadi camp after shelling by the regime and allied Russian forces’ intensified in the Bayırbucak region of northwestern Syria.
At least 12,733 civilians have been displaced in two months of fighting in the region, and more displacement is expected if pro-Assad forces advance towards the Kensaba town and along the Turkish border, a U.N. humanitarian report said.
In southern Syria, a further 35,715 people have been uprooted by another government offensive to retake the strategic town of Sheikh Maskin, the U.N. also said.
Most of Syria’s pre-war population has now been forced out of their homes by the war - 5 million as refugees and 6.5 million displaced within the country.
“On average, since 2011, 50 Syrian families have been displaced every hour of every day,” the UNHCR said in its latest Syria report.