Turkey's Disaster and Emergency Management Agency (AFAD) head said yesterday that over 6,089 civilians who fled Eastern Ghouta were placed in the Euphrates Shield area.
Nearly 1,080,000 Syrians are currently living in the Euphrates Shield area, and 193,723 of them are in camps, Mehmet Güllüoğlu told Anadolu Agency (AA).
Turkey launched Operation Euphrates Shield on Aug. 24, 2016, to clear Daesh terrorists from the northern Syrian towns of Jarablous, al-Rai, Dabiq and al-Bab. Since the successful operation, more than 140,000 Syrian refugees have returned to their homes in the area. On Feb. 24, the U.N. Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2401, which called for a ceasefire in Syria, especially in Eastern Ghouta, to allow the delivery of humanitarian aid. Despite the resolution, however, the regime and its allies launched a major ground offensive backed by Russian forces in early March, aimed at capturing opposition-held parts of the district. Since Feb. 19, more than 1,400 people have been killed in attacks by the regime and its allies in Eastern Ghouta, according to local civil defense sources.
Güllüoğlu said that at least 130,000 civilians have been evacuated from Eastern Ghouta since the evacuation process began on March 22 and that AFAD has been doing its best to host the displaced people.
"Teams from the Health Ministry have conducted health screenings of those placed in the camps, while various nongovernmental organizations provide food, hot meals and basic equipment," Güllüoğlu said.
"To meet their needs, so far 3,142 truckloads of humanitarian aid have been shipped from AFAD's logistics warehouse in Çobanbey," he added. Güllüoğlu said that shelters are being built for 32,000 people in the Euphrates Shield area and for 3,350 people in Idlib. Home to 400,000 residents, Eastern Ghouta has remained under a crippling regime siege for the last five years, which has prevented the delivery of much needed humanitarian supplies. Syria's Bashar Assad regime announced that Eastern Ghouta was completely under control of its forces as of yesterday.
Syria has only just begun to emerge from a devastating conflict that began in early 2011 when the regime cracked down on demonstrators with unexpected ferocity. According to U.N. officials, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed in the conflict to date.