An Iraqi aid source told Brocar Press that 200 Syrian families had arrived in northern Iraq (Iraqi Kurdistan), fleeing military operations in northeastern Syria.
Brocar Press’ correspondent in Hassakeh said that the families had crossed into Iraqi territory via the Semalka border crossing, which is under the control of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
Sources told Brocar Press that many SDF commanders had been displaced, along with their families, from the cities of Qamishli, al-Qahtaniyeh and al-Malikiyeh to northern Iraq through the Semalka crossing.
The sources said that, “with the approaching end of the 120-hour deadline set by Turkey to evacuate the safe zone agreed upon with the Americans, SDF members have been seen fleeing, as well as dozens of families from the main cities into northern Iraq.”
A media relations official in the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in the Iraqi Kurdistan region, Rasheed Hussein, said that about 800 Syrian refugees had arrived in refugee camps in northwestern Iraq, according to AFP.
The official added that 285 refugees, most of them women and children, reached the Bardarash camp in Dohuk province, which is on the border with Syria, and that there were 540 other refugees on their way to the camp.
The Turkish military operation east of the Euphrates, which they call Operation Peace Spring, has created major waves of displacement, along the border strip, which has become an open field for battles against the SDF, concentrated on the city of Ras al-Ayn and its countryside near the Turkish border.
Internally, the correspondent reported, that waves of displacement have been distributed in three main areas inside Hassakeh province.
The first area is the province’s southern countryside all along the Turkish-Syrian border, which is at least 20km away.
The second area, according to the correspondent, is the center of Hassakeh city, with displaced people distributed in a number of schools in the city, including the Nizar Qabbani school, the Sa’d Ibn Abi Waqqas school, the Fawaz Jouli school, the Labib bin Rabeea school, and the Abdel Ahad Moussa school.
A third set of displaced people have headed to the city of Maabadeh, with the arrival of 300 families to the city recorded, as well as to the al-Yarubiyeh area and its countryside.
The correspondent said that, every school in Hassakeh city had about 60 families in it, who complained of a lack of basic needs, humanitarian aid and emergency assistance.
Turkish forces, alongside “National Army” units, announced the start of a military operation against the SDF on Oct. 9, 2019, and have managed to take control over major areas east of the Euphrates.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.