Syrian Arab IDPs shelter in Rojava’s Afrin

Thousands of Syrian Arab IDPs are sheltering at the Kurdish city of Afrin every day.

AFRIN, Syrian Kurdistan (Kurdistan24) – Fleeing the fighting that erupted last week between the Islamic State (IS) and the Syrian rebels in northern Aleppo, nearly two thousand Syrian Arab Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) continue to arrive in the Kurdish city of Afrin on a daily basis, a Syrian Kurdish official said on Tuesday.

Speaking to Kurdistan24, Shiyar Mahmoud, the manager of a series of adjacent camps on the outskirts of Afrin, said on Tuesday that because of the clashes between the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and IS in Marea and Shaykh Isa north of Aleppo, about 250 families have fled their homes. 

“Nearly 1700 Syrian IDPs fled Marea, Shaykh Issa and Jabrin and have reached the camp since last week in addition to almost the same number who went to the city of Afrin,” Mahmoud said.

Additionally, Syria-based Kurdish Hawar News Agency (ANHA) reported that about 1,000 IDPs reached Afrin on Saturday, nearly 3,000 on Sunday and Monday, and on Tuesday 710 IDPs arrived in Afrin.

“Since May 25, 9,463 [IDPs] have entered the canton [of Afrin],” an official told ANHA on Tuesday.

In February, the Syrian army, backed by Russian airstrikes, intensified their attacks on the rebel-held areas north of Aleppo, which displaced tens of thousands who ran to Afrin or the Turkish border.

Afrin which is  controlled by the Kurdish forces of People’s Protection Units (YPG) is under siege and is separated from other Syrian Kurdish areas by Islamic State (IS) and al-Qaeda-affiliate, Nusra, from the east, Syrian Army from the south, and the blocked Turkish borders from the north and west.

Syria’s Kurdish northern and northeastern areas, known as Rojava, have already hosted thousands of Iraqi refugees who fled from IS's assaults on Mosul and Sinjar in northern Iraq.   


Reporting by Hisham Arafat

Editing by Ava Homa