16 December 2016 Friday
A Turkish aid campaign to support civilians in Aleppo gathered pace on Friday, with hundreds more vehicles ferrying humanitarian supplies to the Syrian border.
The Open Road to Aleppo campaign saw around 100 vehicles organized by Turkey’s Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH) join a convoy in the central Anatolian province of Kayseri.
Departing Friday, the convoy will go to the Turkish border province of Hatay, close to the devastated Syrian city of Aleppo.
A first group of vehicles started its journey on Dec. 14, carrying humanitarian aid to Turkey’s Cilvegozu Border Gate in Hatay.
Musa Yilmaz, IHH Kayseri board member, said he wanted to show his support for people in Aleppo and react to the “torture and persecution” of civilians there.
“Muslims are oppressed, persecuted and tortured in the four corners of the world, including countries like Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.
“We will organize a rally [in Hatay] to support Syria [and] Aleppo and explain that we stand with them,” he added.
From Turkey’s central province of Konya, around 150 vehicles plus 60 trucks were headed to Hatay, said local IHH figure Hasan Huseyin Uysal.
“Our aid campaign is still ongoing. We will try to organize aid until the persecution is over,” Uysal said.
Meanwhile, another 12-truck convoy from Turkey’s western province of Afyonkarahisar is also headed to Hatay. Another five-truck convoy carrying 150 tons of foodstuffs is on the road to the Cilvegozu Border Gate from Istanbul’s Kucukcekmece district.
Kucukcekmece’s local religious department organized the aid drive.
In Turkey’s southern province of Kilis, various aid organizations — including the Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency and Turkey’s Red Crescent — sent humanitarian supplies to Syria via the Oncupinar Border Gate.
The aid included food, clothing, coal, blankets, shoes and baby food.
At least 7,500 civilians have so far left eastern Aleppo for safe areas in Idlib, according to Syrian opposition group officials.
Since mid-November, more than 775 civilians have been killed and 2,500 injured in regime attacks on opposition-held parts of Aleppo, according to local civil defense officials.
Syria has been locked in a devastating civil war since early 2011, when the Bashar al-Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests — which erupted as part of the “Arab Spring” uprisings — with unexpected ferocity.
Since then, hundreds of thousands of people are believed to have been killed and millions more displaced by the conflict.
Source: World Bulletin.