PHOTOS: Camp for families displaced by Turkish assault on Syrian Kurds
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Some 4,000 civilians displaced from the Syrian city of Serekaniye (Ras al-Ain in Arabic) by Turkey’s cross-border attack in northern Syria now live in difficult conditions at the newly-built Washokani Camp, located outside Hasakah.
As of yet, there is very little humanitarian aid available in the area, so many urgent, basic needs of residents go unmet in the cold, winter weather.
Tens of thousands of others have fled to towns, cities, villages, and informal settlements in northern Syria and over 18,000 have sought refuge in the neighboring Kurdistan Region.
Turkey launched its so-called “Peace Spring” Operation on Oct. 9, causing the displacement of hundreds of thousands and the death of dozens of civilians.
The campaign was put on hold after the US and Russia struck separate deals with Erdogan to allow the withdrawal of Kurdish forces from a planned buffer zone Turkey calls a “safe zone.”
During an interview on Monday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Ankara aims to resettle up to one million Syrian refugees in the buffer zone now under its control, many of them from other parts of the country.
Local Kurdish populations and multiple international observers see this as an intentional effort by Turkey to ethnically cleanse Kurds from areas along its borders. The United Nations has said there are strong indications that Turkish and Turkish-backed forces have already enacted such a campaign of forced demographic change in the Kurdish-majority city of Afrin.
Text and photo editing by John J. Catherine