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Damaged homes in Sarmin, 8 km from the city of Idlib Damaged homes in Sarmin, 8 km from the city of Idlib  (AFP or licensors)

Turkish troops leave Idlib base in Syria

Turkish forces have started pulling out from three military bases in the countryside of Idlib and Aleppo provinces in northern Syria.

By Nathan Morley

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which relies on a wide network of sources inside Syria, Turkish forces left the Surman base in the eastern countryside near Idlib as well as the bases of Khan Tuman and Rashideen near Aleppo.

The UK-based watchdog said forces would now deploy to rebel-held areas in the southern countryside of Idlib.

The dismantling of military bases is part of a recent Turkish-Russian agreement which includes the withdrawal of Turkish forces and the dismantling of Turkish bases in areas in the Hama and Aleppo districts.

Separately, it is now reported that more than 3 million people across Syria require humanitarian assistance as winter approaches.

 

“Today an estimated 9.3 million people in Syria are food insecure -- that's 1.4 million more people than a year ago and more than at any other time during the crisis," he said. "About one million of them are severely food insecure -- twice as many as last year -- and we expect this number to increase,” Ramesh Rajasingham, acting assistant secretary-general for humanitarian affairs said.

"Let me be clear: Health services are extremely weak across the country and are being stretched to new extremes under the public health impact of COVID-19," he added.

"Gaps in assistance and shortages of medical supplies and personnel are prevalent everywhere."

As it stands, 6.7 million people are internally displaced, a third of whom lack proper shelter and live in damaged buildings, or public spaces like schools or tents.

Earlier this week the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the overall death toll for Syria's civil war has reached 387,000 following 10 years of fighting.

According to their figures, 117,000 civilians, among them more than 22,000 children have died in the conflict which erupted in 2011.

Listen to the report by Nathan Morley
10 December 2020, 18:23