Geneva – More than 7,000 Syrians fled from their country to Iraq since last Monday amid the Turkish military operation in the northeast of the Arab republic, UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said.
Spokesman for UNHCR Andrej Mahecic disclosed this in a statement on Tuesday.
“A week after the first refugees crossed from northeast Syria into Iraq, the arrivals to northern Iraq continue.
“UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, teams on the ground report that as of this morning, more than 7,100 have arrived since last Monday, most of them – just under 7,000 — are sheltered at the Bardarash refugee camp, some 140 kilometers (86.9 miles) east of the Iraqi-Syrian border,” Mahecic said.
According to him, the majority of refugees are women and children, and many of them are in need of psycho-social aid.
The UNHCR added that the overall number of Syrian refugees in Iraq currently stands at about 229,000.
Turkey launched the controversial cross-border offensive in northern Syria on Oct. 9 in an attempt to build a safe zone and clear the area of the Kurdish forces, which Ankara says are affiliated with a terrorist group.
The offensive has faced widespread condemnation from across the globe.
The operation is currently nearing the end of a 120-hour ceasefire agreement that Ankara reached with Washington on Thursday.
Turkey is expected to announce its next steps on the offensive later in the day, following talks between Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin.