BEIRUT – Doctors Without Borders reported on Tuesday that about 23,000 people fleeing the conflict in Aleppo are in urgent need of emergency support and shelter near the Syrian-Turkish border. The United Nations warned that those affected could be soon cut off from humanitarian aid and is calling on the Turkish government to help them by opening its borders.
The group Doctors Without Borders said in a press release that it has increased the number of beds from 28 to 36 in its hospital in Azaz district. It has distributed supplies such as blankets, tents and mattresses and pre-positioned aid in Aleppo in case supply lines get cut. There is concern that food, water and fuel crisis could be imminent, starting in the coming weeks.
Russia’s foreign minister Sergey Lavrov is facing strong criticism among the international community that his country has helped worsen the conflict since Sept. 30, when it started providing air cover for a Syrian government advance north of the city of Aleppo, according to a report by the Associated Press.
Russia is the closest ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government and Turkey’s prime minister is calling world leaders to denounce that Russia is “mercilessly bombing civilian targets” in Syria.
Lavrov said Moscow has just presented a specific and simple proposal to Washington regarding the ending of the Syria’s civil war. He has not revealed any details but he is scheduled to meet with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Munich on Thursday.
The minister claims that the Turkish government is the one that has fueled the conflict because it has provided militants with weapons and supplies and has also bought oil from them.
There are about 2.5 million Syrian refugees in Turkey. Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu insisted that his country has not shut its borders to Syrians fleeing violence but it has not let in the tens of thousands that arrived on Tuesday from Aleppo. According to AP, a senior government official said Turkey would take care of the Syrians within its borders “as much as possible”.
President of the European Council Donald Tusk also accused Russia of contributing with al-Assad’s “murderous” government and prompting new waves of refugees fleeing toward Europe.
“As a direct consequence of the Russian military campaign, the murderous Assad regime is gaining ground, the moderate Syrian opposition is losing ground and thousands more refugees are fleeing toward Turkey and Europe,” Tusk said Tuesday in Brussels.
The Syrian civil war has triggered Europe’s worst migration crisis in decades. The situation has divided members of the European Union, who are struggling to reach agreements on how to respond.
Source: Washington Post