Turkey’s ‘safe zone’ displaces thousands of families

World Today

Turkey's "safe zone" displaces thousands of familiesIn this Oct. 17, 2019 file photo, Syrians who were displaced by the Turkish military operation in northeastern Syria. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

The Turkish offensive to create a “safe zone” along the northeastern Syrian border has resulted in the displacement of thousands of people living in nearby towns.

The U.N. estimates over 170,000 people have been displaced from towns near the clashes, many of whom fled to Iraq.

CGTN’s Michal Bardavid reports.

These camps are typically overcrowded with other families who fled the war. For many refugees, this is not the first time they’ve had to flee due to the fighting. 

Some families say they have moved from town to town several times over the eight years of conflict in Syria.

They describe their situation as stressing and traumatizing. Turkey says if the withdrawal of Kurdish forces is completed successfully and the offensive ends they will do their best to return people back to their homes.

The Russian Defence Minister, Sergei Shoigu said that armed Kurdish forces have withdrawn from the zone near Syria’s northeastern border with Turkey faster than scheduled.

Fahrettin Altun, Erdogan’s communications director tweeted said in a tweet:

“Turkey and Russia had set a 150-hour deadline for YPG terrorists to leave the safe zone. The time is up. We will establish the safe zone, through joint patrols, whether or not the terrorists have actually withdrawn.”