66,000 displaced in fresh fighting in northern Syria: UN body

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News ID: 8106
Asia » Asia
Publish Date: 17:42 - 05 March 2017
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The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says a total of 66,000 people have been displaced due to fresh fighting in northern Syria, where Turkey has been carrying out operations.
66,000 displaced in fresh fighting in northern Syria: UN bodyThe agency said on Sunday that 39,766 people have been forced out of their homes in the Syrian city of al-Bab and the nearby town of Tadif which Turkish forces are trying to control.
 
Displaced people have fled north to militant-controlled areas where "high contamination" of unexploded bombs and booby traps planted by retreating terrorists is further complicating the situation, it added.
 
Turkey launched a major military incursion into Syria in August 2016 in a move denounced by Damascus as a breach of its sovereignty.
 
Ankara claimed at the time that its military campaign was aimed at stopping Kurdish advances and driving away Daesh from the Turkish-Syrian border but since then it has occupied at least two major Syrian cities.
 
Turkey has lately announced plans to advance into the Syrian city of Manbij after seizing al-Bab. Manbij is currently held by the so-called Syria Democratic Forces (SDF), a US-backed outfit of mostly Kurdish militants.  
 
Turkish-backed Syria militants walk over rubble in al-Bab, Syria, February 23, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
 
Additionally, OCHA estimated that 26,000 people have left their homes east of al-Bab, where Syrian government forces are engaged in an offensive against Daesh.   
 
The Syrian army troops and allied fighters have been fighting against different foreign-backed terrorist groups wreaking havoc in the Arab country since 2011.
 
More than half of Syria’s population have been displaced over the past six years.
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