International aid campaign for Afrin

Kurdish Red Crescent Heyva Sor a Kurdistanê has launched an international aid campaign for Afrin Canton of Northern Syria that is under attack from the Turkish state and affiliated jihadist groups since January 20.

Refugees and residents in the Afrin district of North Syria are trapped under fire and bombing by the Turkish military without any protection or proper medical supplies – Heyva Sor a Kurdistanê is raising funds to help them.

The Kurdish region of Afrin of North Syria has been under heavy attack from the Turkish army and affiliated jihadist gangs since 20th January 2018. Almost 200 civilians have been killed already, and many hundreds severely wounded (as reported on 10th Feb 2018) – with about half of those killed being people who had already fled their homes in Syria, as refugee camps are also being attacked.

Kurdish Red Crescent Heyva Sor a Kurdistanê calls for safe access for humanitarian relief as the co-chair of the Health Council in Afrin province and local aid Heyva Sor a Kurdistanê workers are reporting that civilians there are suffering from daily attacks. Afrin was one of Syria’s most stable and secure regions, such that the pre-war population of 500 thousand (in 2011) increased to about one million with the arrival of internally displaced people (IDPs) escaping war zones in Syria.

The co-chair of the Health Council in Afrin province, Angela Rasho, said: “Medical supplies are inadequate, especially surgical supplies, because of the increasing number of wounded. There has been a serious shortage of medical staff who have spread out to different locations to relieve the pressure on Afrin’s main hospital and allow it to focus on serious operations such as limb amputations. We appeal to all humanitarian organizations to help the people of Afrin.”

Hundreds of people who had fled war to seek refuge in Afrin are once again trying to escape war but the routes are blocked. It is reported that the Turkish backed rebel forces have been asking for $100 exit fee per vehicle, which people who lost all they have can’t afford to pay. The Heyva Sor a Kurdistanê director in Syria says… “Thousands of people, including babies, young children and the elderly, are now trapped as the routes are blocked – people facing death not just from the air-strikes and ground assault, but also from the lack of supplies. There are limited supplies of food, water and medicine. Heyva Sor a Kurdistanê volunteers on the ground are risking their lives to help the people in the region as they pass through the dangerous routes to deliver aid while the bombing continues.”

Due to the blockade and due the threat of losing their operational basis in Turkey, most major aid organisations can’t help the people of Afrin and have called for the lifting of the blockade.

People trapped in Afrin are feeling abandoned and helpless: one father of five children said: “I feel I am of no value. No-one is coming to help us. I didn’t realize our lives were so cheap.”

Another, a father of six children said “I have no place to go.”

Heyva Sor a Kurdistanê has a base in North Syria and is able to obtain food, medical and other survival supplies from North Iraq and some regions in Syria to take them to Afrin. We are calling out to the internationally community to make financial donations as any material donations can’t be delivered from Europe due to the blockade at the boarder with Turkey.

Heyva Sor a Kurdistanê also calls to the international community to call on the Turkish state to cease its attacks on the people of Afrin, who have already suffered for years in the war, and for the blockage to be lifted so charities can help the civilians in need of urgent assistance.

Link to the campaign: