6,089 civilians of E. Ghouta placed in safe areas

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Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Agency (AFAD) head on Thursday said over 6,089 civilians who fled Eastern Ghouta were placed in the Euphrates Shield area.

Nearly 1,080,000 Syrians are currently living in the Euphrates Shield area and 193,723 of them are in camps, Mehmet Gulluoglu told Anadolu Agency.

Turkey’s Operation Euphrates Shield, launched in late 2016, liberated northern Syria’s Al-Bab city from the Daesh terrorist group.

The operation, which ended in March of last year, largely succeeded in purging the Turkish-Syrian border area of terrorists.

Gulluoglu said that at least 130,000 civilians have been evacuated from Eastern Ghouta since the evacuation process began on March 22 and AFAD has been doing its best to host the displaced people.

“Teams from the health ministry have conducted health screenings of those placed in the camps, while various non-governmental organizations provide food, hot meals, and basic equipment,” Gulluoglu said.

He added: “To meet their needs, so far 3,142 truckloads of humanitarian aid has been shipped from AFAD’s logistics warehouse in Cobanbey.”

Gulluoglu said that shelters are being built for 32,000 people in the Euphrates Shield area and for 3,350 people in Idlib.

On Feb. 24, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2401, which called for a cease-fire in Syria — especially in Eastern Ghouta — to allow the delivery of humanitarian aid.

Despite the resolution, however, the regime and its allies in early March launched a major ground offensive — backed by Russian forces — aimed at capturing opposition-held parts of the district.

Since Feb. 19, more than 1,400 people have been killed in attacks by the regime and its allies in Eastern Ghouta, according to local civil defense sources.

Home to 400,000 residents, Eastern Ghouta has remained under a crippling regime siege for the last five years, which has prevented the delivery of much needed humanitarian supplies.

Syria has only just begun to emerge from a devastating conflict that began in early 2011 when the regime cracked down on demonstrators with unexpected ferocity.

According to UN officials, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed in the conflict to date.

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