Saturday, February 01, 2020

Syria - New Refugees

700,000 people who are already internally displaced on the move once again toward the Turkish border. Backed by Russian air power, Syrian government forces have rapidly advanced on Idlib. There have been 200 air strikes on opposition-held territory in the last three days, mainly targeting civilians. Aid agencies and rescue workers say airstrikes have demolished dozens of hospitals, schools and other civilian infrastructure, and warn Idlib’s 3 million-strong population is at risk of the nine-year war’s biggest humanitarian crisis yet. Turkey already hosts more than 3.5 million Syrian refugees and fears millions more could soon cross the frontier.

Turkey, which backs some rebel groups and does not want to absorb more refugees, has  threatened military force against the regime and its allies in the area if the offensive continues. 
Turkey may launch a military operation in Syria's northwestern Idlib region unless fighting there is quickly halted, President Tayyip Erdogan said. Erdogan repeated Turkey could not handle a fresh influx of migrants and would not allow new threats near its borders, even if it meant resorting to military power as it did in three previous cross-border operations in northern Syria.

"We will do what is necessary when someone is threatening our soil. We will have no choice but to resort to the same path again if the situation in Idlib is not returned to normal quickly," Erdogan said. "We will not refrain from doing what is necessary, including using military force."

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