UN reiterates concern over YPG blocking civilians from escaping Afrin

Published 08.03.2018 22:25
Updated 08.03.2018 22:27

United Nations Deputy spokesman Farhan Haq on Wednesday expressed concern over constraints by local authorities on civilians who want to flee Afrin.

Afrin has been a major base of operations for the PKK-affiliated Democratic Union Party (PYD) and People's Protection Units (YPG) forces since July 2012 when Syria's Bashar Assad regime left the region to the terrorist group's control without a fight.

Haq said discussions were conducted with all parties to allow civilians to escape the city, but they faced problems. Although 5,000 people have fled so far, Haq said now they are blocked. Answering a question from an Anadolu Agency (AA) correspondent as to whether those local authorities are PKK-affiliated YPG terrorists, he answered, "Yes, they are."

The spokesperson for United Nations Secretary-General Stéphane Dujarric said Monday the PKK's Syrian offshoot was blocking civilians from leaving northwestern Syria's Afrin. At a press briefing, Dujarric touched upon the ongoing Syrian crisis and how far the U.N. was willing to take action regarding the delivery of aid to those in need.

"What I can tell you is that just over 5,000 people have exited Afrin, but we understand that local authorities are still blocking anyone from exiting the district," the U.N. spokesperson said, implying the YPG and PKK terrorist groups are the "local authorities."

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