The EU’s foreign affairs chief expressed concern at the ongoing military activities … reports Asian Lite News.
Almost 100,000 people have fled the Kurdish-Syrian enclave of Afrin since a Turkish military offensive was launched on the region, a UN humanitarian office said on Monday, while the EU’s foreign affairs chief expressed concern at the ongoing military activities.
Afrin city, located in a Syrian province of the same name, was captured by the Turkish Army and its allied Syrian militiamen on Sunday, a major milestone for Ankara in its offensive against the Kurdish armed groups in an operation that the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said had internally displaced 98,000 residents.
Meanwhile, at a foreign ministers council in Brussels, EU’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said she was worried about the situation in Afrin, Efe news reported.
The OCHA said 75,000 displaced people had fled to Tal Refaat, which was still under Kurdish control, while the rest sought refuge in Nabul and Zahraa, predominantly Shia Muslim communities under the control of the Syrian regime.
The Syrian Democratic Forces, an umbrella group predominantly comprised of the YPG Kurdish militia, had been in control of Afrin since 2012, after the outbreak of civil war in Syria.
Although the YPG receives support and training from the US, the Turkish state regards them as a terrorist group intrinsically linked to the Turkey-based PKK Kurdish separatist insurgents.
On January 20, the Turkish Army launched a military incursion against Afrin, which is isolated from the swathe of Kurdish territory further east, citing a security threat to its border.
The OCHA estimated that 100,000 people remained in Afrin district and said it would increase its humanitarian aid efforts in the area.