Thousands flee, hospital closed after bombings in northeast Syria: Aid groups

More than 70,000 people from Ras al-Ain and Tel Abyad have been displaced by escalating violence, according to the UN World Food Program. (File photo: Reuters)

The only public hospital in a region of northeast Syria has been forced to shut after most of its staff fled from bombings over the past 24 hours, Medecins Sans Frontieres said in a statement on Friday.

Turkish warplanes and artillery hit Kurdish forces targets in northeast Syria on Friday on the third day of an offensive that has killed hundreds of people.

“The hospital of Tel Abyad, supported by MSF, is from now on closed because most of the medical workers have left with their families,” the French charity said, referring to the border town which it said was now practically deserted.

More than 70,000 people from Ras al-Ain and Tel Abyad have been displaced by escalating violence, according to the UN World Food Program, which helps feed close to 650,000 people in northeastern Syria.

Evacuating refugee camps

A camp sheltering more than 7,000 displaced people in northern Syria is to be evacuated and talks are underway about moving a second camp for 13,000 people including families of ISIS fighters after both were hit by shelling, the Kurdish-led authorities in northern Syria said on Friday.

In a statement, the Kurdish-led administration said the camps at Mabrouka and Ain Issa had “not been immune from the dangers” of a Turkish offensive that began this week.

The camp at Mabrouka, 12 km from the Turkish border, would be evacuated and the people sheltering there moved to al-Arisha camp south of Hasaka city, it said. The second camp at Ain Issa is holding 785 relatives of ISIS militants, it said.

“Discussion is underway with the relevant bodies and organisation to find a solution or alternative location to move the camp to,” it said.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:54 - GMT 06:54
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