The people in the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib will not be displaced from their homelands with Turkey’s determination, the Istanbul-based Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH) said Sunday.
“People of Idlib are trying to make the world listen to their voices. With Turkey’s resolve, these people will stay in their lands and we will protect them,” Erhan Yemelek, the IHH’s Syria coordinator told Anadolu Agency.
Yemelek said Idlib has become a city that hosts internally displaced Syrians from every part of the country.
Stating that the city currently has 3-4 million people, he said: “After the Tehran Summit, people of Idlib got worried. They waited for the world to turn its direction to Idlib.”
On Sept. 7, a trilateral summit between the presidents of Turkey, Russia and Iran underlined that “there could be no military solution to the Syrian conflict” and called for advancing the political process to reach a negotiated solution.
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called for a cease-fire in Idlib during the summit.
Yemelek added that Turkey was the guarantor country (with Russia and Iran) of the region, and people there have been praying day and night for Turkey to not leave them alone.
Stressing that Syrian people have been suffering for the last seven or eight years, he said they did not want to be a burden on Turkey’s shoulders and wanted to live in their own lands.
He also called on all non-governmental organizations to help meet the needs of people living in camps in the rural areas near Idlib’s border.
The Syrian regime recently announced plans to launch a major military offensive in Idlib, which has long been controlled by various armed opposition groups.
Later, the UN warned that such an offensive would lead to the “worst humanitarian catastrophe in the 21st century”.
Located near the Turkish border, Idlib is home to more than 3 million Syrians, many of whom fled from other cities following attacks by regime forces.
By Savas Guler