Turkey prepared for possible fleeing IDPs during Idlib operation

Published 09.10.2017 00:00

Turkish aid organizations have made preparations for internally displaced people (IDP) fleeing Idlib after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced a landmark operation in the area.

Turkey's Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) and the Turkish Red Crescent remain at the ready to provide necessary assistance should the Idlib operation lead to an influx of IDPs. According to the Turkish media, the two aid organizations will set up safe havens and tent camps within Syrian borders.

Idlib, already home to around 1 million IDPs following the evacuation process in Aleppo last year, may be the scene of yet another conflict in the country. The Turkish aid organizations estimate that the danger of a new IDP influx might be at the door if the conflict lingers and humanitarian aid cannot reach Idlib.

Turkey's border gates will remain shut down in the first place, Turkish media said. The first batch of IDPs will be accommodated in tent camps, and they will be looked after with humanitarian aid.

Furthermore, the aid organizations will relocate the IDPs to places liberated from Daesh during Operation Euphrates Shield. Jarablus, Azaz and al-Bab will be used as safe havens for new IDPs.

However, Turkey is expected to follow an open-door policy if the influx reaches overwhelming numbers and the IDPs will be hosted at tent camps near the Syrian border, reports said.

"Today a landmark operation is underway in Idlib, and this will continue. We will never allow a terror corridor along our Syrian border," President and Justice and Development Party (AK Party) Chairman Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said over the weekend.

The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) launched Operation Euphrates Shield against Daesh last year on Aug. 24, in cooperation with the Free Syrian Army (FSA) forces inside Syria, and recaptured several towns near its border from the terror group, including Jarablus, al-Rai, Dabiq and al-Bab. The operation dealt a heavy blow to the terrorist group's dominance in Syria.

In the operation, Daesh strongholds were defeated and more than 2,000 square kilometers of territory in northern Syria was seized from the terrorists. More than 100,000 Syrian refugees were relocated back to their hometowns in the liberated areas.

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