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Why has Turkey launched a military offensive in Syria?
Turkey launched an attack in north-eastern Syria on 9 October 2019. Turkish President Erdogan says the offensive aims to remove Kurdish-led forces from the border area and create a 300 mile-long ‘safe zone’ along the Syrian side of the border. According to the Turkish President, this zone will serve as an area to which millions of Syrian refugees can be returned.
The Turkish offensive in Syria came just days after President Trump announced that US troops will be withdrawn from the region. The US has fought for years alongside the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to combat the Islamic State group. The SDF, led by the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), is considered by Turkey to be a terrorist organisation.
What does this mean for the people of Syria?
A Turkish invasion in north-eastern Syria may lead to a new humanitarian crisis.
The effects could be devastating for the estimated 1.7 million people currently living in the area, as the fighting could force thousands of families to flee in search of safety.
How is ShelterBox responding?
We are working with our trusted partners in Syria, supporting families caught up in the latest fighting in the northeast.
We are providing family-sized tents with winter liners for warmth, along with five sleeping mats per family.
More than 250,000 people have already received ShelterBox aid, since we first responded to the crisis in December 2012. This makes it the largest and most sustained response in our 19-year history. But the need is as urgent as ever. It is estimated that up to 160,000 are now being forced to flee because of the conflict, with that number expected to rise.
"I wish that our country would become safe again"
Mustafa lost everything because of the war in Syria: “Before the crisis, I was working on my own business. Now life has changed completely, and job opportunities went low because of the war. During the crisis in Syria we became homeless and now have nothing”.
Mustafa’s house was destroyed by the bombings and his children could no longer go to school, losing their education. Fortunately for the family, the children have been able to return to school near the camp where they now live.
“We are settling in the camp for the time being, because we have no other place to go. My children go to school that is around 300 m far away”, said Mustafa.
Working with our partners, Bahar, we supported Mustafa’s family with emergency shelter including a family tent, six mattresses, six blankets, water carriers, solar lights, plastic sheeting, a kitchen set, and children's clothes.
Help us reach more family’s like Mustafa's today. Donate now.