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UN wants access to '300k regular men, women, children' in Afrin

By Rudaw 17/3/2018
A young boy waits at a check point in the village of Anab ahead of crossing to the Turkish-backed Syrian rebels side on March 17, 2018, as civilians flee the city of Afrin. Photo: Bulent Kilic | AFP
A young boy waits at a check point in the village of Anab ahead of crossing to the Turkish-backed Syrian rebels side on March 17, 2018, as civilians flee the city of Afrin. Photo: Bulent Kilic | AFP
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — Eleven people trying to flee from Afrin and into the northern Aleppo countryside were killed by warplanes, a UK-based conflict monitor reported on Saturday, as UN officials say more than 300,000 men, women, and children need protection in Afrin.

"The situation is really, really, awful for the people inside and there is no guarantee ... unfortunately. Our primary concern is for the  
protection of civilians," Linda Tom, an OCHA public information officer told Rudaw on Friday."

The UN organ does not have a presence in Afrin, but relies on "people inside who are providing information."

"We know there are more than 300,000 people in Afrin district — regular men, women, and children who are in need of protection and humanitarian assistance," added Tom.

She says the UN is concerned about shortages on basics like water, food, and electricity.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported 11 fleeing civilians died in an airstrike targeting cars and tractors.

More than 200,000 people have fled Afrin city towards the areas of Nabuls and Zahra, according to the monitor.

Turkey denies targeting civilians.

The Observatory raised the civilian death toll to "more than 281 civilians" in Afrin, since Turkey began its assault on Afrin on January 20.

The UN wants to provide humanitarian access to Afrin.

"We stand ready to provide assistance immediately. We are calling on all parties to provide access so that we can provide assistance to people inside Syria. We are ready to do that and do that immediately," said Tom.

Ahmed Ramadan, the head of the media office for the Syrian National Coalition, revealed what he believes will happen when Turkey finishes its operation.

“A local council will be elected and the governance of the region will be returned to its people through the elected council.  No outside party will govern Afrin … the Syrian Interim Government and Turkey will provide full assistance," Ramadan told Rudaw.

Abdulbasit Hamo, the deputy leader of SNC also talked to Rudaw.

"The people of Afrin are the people of their country. They have to return to their soil and life. The Coalition’s general decision is that Afrin people should govern themselves and [decide about] their lives. If any such a thing [demographic change] occurs, of course positions will be declared on the matter," said Hamo.

Haitham al-Maleh, also a member of the SNC told Rudaw "Syrians own all of Syria."

"A great number of Syrian people have come to Turkey as refugees. Turkey calls them 'guests.' These people should return to their areas. I believe Turkey is working towards this [aim]. But if some people are from the area [Afrin] they as Syrians will return as guests," said Maleh.

The Turkish Armed Forces increased the number of "terrorists neutralized to 3,569" on Saturday.

Turkey denies it was responsible for the deaths of 16 civilians at Avrin City Hospital on Friday night. Local news agencies, Kurdish officials, and a humanitarian group in Afrin are blaming Turkey. 


Delshad | 17/3/2018
turkey is bringing isis to afrin , and world is silence about that.:(
Welatowelato | 17/3/2018
the west has kurdish blood on their hands! Its their weapons that kill kurds! Its their arrogance n silence dat kills Kurds! UN has allowed for these evil muslim dictators dat want nothing but to wipe out Kurds from earth! Shame on the dispicable West for betraying Kurds after they defeated ISIS! The west used the kurds! Western Cowards!
Renas | 17/3/2018
Once again, there a common reason why Turks are attacking Afrin, why Arabs attacked Kirkuk and why we are still without country. WE ARE NOT UNITED!! Unite the leaders and we will be free. Solve the issues between PKK, PDK, YNK and GORRAN. Fight for two things, Kurds and Kurdistan. Forget about religion, ideology and money for a while.
Outsider | 18/3/2018
(a) it was already proven that the attack on Afrin's hospital never happened by photographic evidence...why do you continue repeating a fake news? (b) As the FSA suggests, the local Kurds must return to the area THEY can govern themselves under genuine democracy and NOT a one-party YPG rule!!!!
World Traveler | 18/3/2018
People who return to their own homes and lands in Afrin "will be treated as guests"? Really?? The invaders need to be seized, tried, and convicted of genocide and war crimes.

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