Finnish Minister for Foreign Affairs Pekka Haavisto (Greens) talked to reporters in Helsinki on Thursday about the newly launched offensive on Kurdish-controlled areas in Syria. (Martti Kainulainen – Lehtikuva)


PEKKA HAAVISTO (Greens), the Finnish Minister for Foreign Affairs, has revealed that international humanitarian organisations are preparing for the eventuality that roughly 100,000 people will flee their homes due to the offensive launched on Wednesday by Turkey.

Turkey launched the offensive on areas controlled by Kurdish-led forces in north-east Syria, saying it intends to create a safe zone and prevent the creation of a terror corridor on the border.

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“There are major concerns about the humanitarian situation,” Haavisto was quoted as saying by STT on Thursday. “In the worst-case scenario, the Kurds will stay in a region where it’ll be difficult to reach them and difficult to organise international assistance.”

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has estimated that a minimum of 60,000 people have fled their homes due to the cross-border offensive. The BBC reported on Friday that the Kurdish Red Crescent has recorded 11 confirmed civilian casualties and 28 serious injuries, mostly in Ras al-Ain and Qamishli.

The international community has widely condemned and called for the cessation of the hostilities in north-east Syria.

The UN Security Council discussed the situation yesterday evening at the request of five member states: Belgium, Germany, France Poland and the United Kingdom. The quintet warned that the renewed hostilities will undermine the stability of the entire region, increase civilian suffering and lead to additional displacements.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: Uusi Suomi