Rojava welcomes refugees from Idlib

March 17, 2020
More than one million people have left the north-western Syrian province of Idlib since December. About 80% are women and children. Photo: ANF English.

While Turkey and Greece have turned refugees away from their borders, the revolutionary Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (better known as Rojava) has welcomed refugees from war-devastated Idlib province in Syria.

About 1500 families have already fled to Rojava from Idlib and on March 1 the autonomous administration said it would welcome more. It also called on the United Nations (UN) and other international bodies to provide more resources to help these refugees.

The autonomous administration's statement is reprinted below.

* * *

Due to the humanitarian crisis caused by the war in Idlib, the civilian population is in a very bad situation. Cooperation is needed to alleviate the suffering of civilians in the face of the wave of migration that is taking place. Action must be taken.

The Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have already declared that they will fulfil their humanitarian duty towards the people of Idlib in accordance with their responsibilities. On this basis, we are once again informing the people of Idlib that we will provide them with care within the limits of our possibilities. We declare that despite the high number of migrants in our region we will fulfill our duty.

As the autonomous administration, we face serious obstacles due to the hundreds of thousands of displaced persons from the areas occupied by the Turkish state, the closure of the Til Kocher [al-Yaarubiyah on the Iraqi-Syrian border] border crossing and the small quantities of UN aid shipments via Damascus.

We call on the UN and other international institutions to cooperate with the autonomous administration in view of the flight from Idlib. They should propose solutions on how to overcome the current difficult situation.

This should be accompanied by a reconsideration of the decision to close the Til Kocher border crossing for humanitarian aid deliveries. Humanitarian aid must arrive in north-east Syria in order to guarantee basic supplies for those seeking protection.

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