SANLIURFA / HATAY, Turkey
A Turkish aid group on Wednesday sent three truckloads of humanitarian aid to vulnerable people in Idlib, northwestern Syria, where millions are in need of assistance due to internal conflict in the country.
Osman Gerem, head of the Sanliurfa Humanitarian Aid Platform, said that for nearly a decade the platform has been trying to deliver aid to people who have been refugees and victims due to the war in Syria.
“There has been a great massacre and humanitarian plight in Idlib since February. While people died from freezing and cold in winter, before today unfortunately they were tested by heat and hunger,” he added.
“Throughout history, we have always stood with the victims and oppressed as a nation. The virtue and generosity that our ancestors passed onto us will once again be a blessing and joy in the hearts of our brothers and sisters.”
He also said: “Let’s empathize with people who have to live in those quarters where there’s no water and electricity these summer days. I hope we will continue to extend our helping hands by thinking about how they struggle for life. I would like to thank once again those who contributed to the departure of our charity trucks.”
Separately, the UN on Wednesday sent 49 truckloads of humanitarian aid to Idlib.
The trucks entered Idlib through the Cilvegozu border gate in Turkey’s south with aid that will be distributed among residents of Idlib and nearby rural areas.
The UN aid is delivered from Turkey to northwestern Syria via the Bab al-Hawa and Bab al-Salam border crossings.
According to the UN, 70% of Idlib province’s 3 million residents need humanitarian assistance.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance (OCHA) has sent 8,468 humanitarian aid convoys to Syria since January, including 1,613 through Turkey.
Syria has been mired in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when the Bashar al-Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests.
Since then, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and more than 10 million displaced, according to UN figures.
Idlib falls within a de-escalation zone forged under an agreement between Turkey and Russia.
The area has been the subject of multiple cease-fire understandings, which have frequently been violated by the Assad regime and its allies.
*Writing by Seda Sevencan
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