Badran Jia Kurd, deputy co-presidency of the Autonomous Administration of North East Syria (AANES) said on Thursday a siege imposed by Syrian government forces on the area of camps that shelter IDPs from Afrin, in the northern countryside of Aleppo, causes a humanitarian catastrophe for hundreds of thousands.
The siege, which is imposed by the Fourth Division of the government forces, started in early November, stopping service facilities, closing schools and threatening to stop a hospital due to banning the entry of oil and foodstuff, according to sources working in medical sectors.
Kurd added, in a statement to North Press, that these practices affect efforts for solutions and understandings regarding issues related to that area and northeastern Syria in general.
The official said that the area is subjected to Turkish shelling daily, and the siege increases the suffering of the IDPs.
“The reality is tragic and unacceptable, as the government had to offer facilitations to alleviate the sufferings,” Kurd added.
“These areas and all other areas must be neutralized from the policy of provocation, financial investment and collecting taxes,” he added, stressing that the government must get away from the policy of imposing sieges and blackmailing to achieve financial and political gains.
On Wednesday, the manager of Avrin Hospital in the village of Fafin in Aleppo’s northern countryside, Azad Rasho, said the hospital “is threatened to completely stop working due to the government siege on the region, putting the lives of some patients at risk.”
Kurd stressed that the AANES would take a position regarding this siege, but it does not want to further escalate the situation.
“We are trying to prioritize serving the IDPs,” the manager added.
Kurd did not mention the reasons behind imposing such a siege or if there were attempts to end it.
Since October 2018, security checkpoints of the government forces have periodically closed the al-Muslmiya crossing that separates Aleppo’s northern countryside and Aleppo’s city center.
AANES officials accuse the government of trying to evacuate the region of the Afrin IDPs, who fled their areas following a Turkish military operation in 2018.
The northern countryside of Aleppo, also known as the Shahba region, houses IDPs of the Kurdish city of Afrin, which was occupied in 2018 by Turkey following a military operation called “Olive Branch” to push away the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) under the pretext of protecting Turkey’s “national security.”
The operation caused the displacement of about 300.000 of the original inhabitants of the Kurds of Afrin, who have been taking shelter in 40 villages and five camps in the Shahba region since then.
There are about 16.000 displaced families from Afrin distributed over 42 villages and towns in the Shahba region, in addition to 1.870 families, comprising 7.500 individuals, now living in the camps of Barkhodan, Sardam, Afrin, al-Awda, and Shahba, according to the Social Affairs and Labor Board of the Afrin region, currently operating in Aleppo northern countryside.
The area has been militarily protected by Russian and Syrian government forces since 2018.
This article was 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.