Syria ǀ Flash Update #4, Humanitarian impact of the military operation in north-eastern Syria, 13 October 2019 [EN/AR]

Highlights

  • As of late 13 October, ongoing airstrikes and ground attacks were reported in multiple locations as the military operation towards Tell Abiad and in Ras Al Ain cities continued. Conflicting reports emerged regarding control of Ras al-Ain city.

  • Grave concerns remain for the population in the Ein Issa camp which hosts approximately 13,000 civilians due to ongoing hostilities and shelling in the vicinity of the camp as Turkish Armed Forces advances. Reports indicate that a number of IDPs have fled the camp, however most residents remain. The United Nations is calling for immediate protection of the camp, alongside guarantees of safe and unhindered passage for the IDPs to leave for Ar-Raqqa city or other areas of choice. The hospital in Ein Issa town closed as of late evening of 12 October.

  • Further to previous reports on the evacuation of the Mabruka camp, some 19 families remain. During the morning of 13 October, a truck rented by IDPs to leave Mabruka hit a landmine before reaching the camp, wounding the driver. As a result, the trucks were unable to reach the camp to transfer people out. The United Nations is calling for immediate protection of the camp and guarantees of safe passage.

  • Further to previous reports on the critical water situation due to damage to the power line of the Allouk water station, an agreement with all parties was reached for a repair mission to take place. Interim solutions to the water supply were also being explored.

  • On 12 October, the Tishreen-Mabruka power line was hit by shelling. Information on the potential impact on civilians is being ascertained. The Euphrates-Mabruka power line is now providing electricity to the entire AlHasakeh province.

  • Significant further displacements continue being reported. An estimated 150,000-160,000 population movements have to date been recorded. Reports of further movements continue.

  • Humanitarian partners continue mobilizing response efforts at the estimated 33 collective shelters in Ar-Raqqa city (1 shelter), Al-Hasakeh city (14 shelters), and Al Tamr (18 shelters).

  • Reports indicated that the M4 road – a critical and strategic highway linking Menbij, Tal Tamer and Al-Hasakeh – is cut off at different locations. This could affect the supply line of humanitarian goods to the area.

  • The United Nations and its humanitarian partners are increasingly concerned about the security of their staff present on the ground as explosions and shelling in Quamishli continue. INGOs have been forced to evacuate staff from the area and relocate some of their operations to safer areas in Al-Hasakeh away from the border and closer to areas hosting IDP arrivals.

Situation overview

As of 13 October, airstrikes, heavy artillery shelling and ground incursions reportedly took place in multiple locations. By 12 October, Turkish forces reportedly took control of the surrounding suburbs/outskirts of both Tell Abiad and Ras Al Ain cities, with a significant number of villages under Turkish control in rural Tell Abiad and north rural Ar-Raqqa. In the early hours of 12 October, an offensive was reportedly launched in the Mabruka area, 30 kilometers west of Ras al-Ain. Armed clashes between the Syrian National Army and YPG forces occurred at Aywah and Al-Fawar villages on the M4 road, 55 kilometers east of Ein Essa town, north rural Ar-Raqqa. Parts of the M4 road were cut off in different locations. The SDF imposed a curfew in Al Tabqa city, Mansoura and Al Jurniyah towns in western rural Ar-Raqqa city. In the morning of 13 October, Suluk and Ein Issa towns were taken over by Turkish forces and allies and by the afternoon they had reportedly taken control of the whole of Tell Abiad city.

Shelling in Quamishli city continued over the last three days with numerous explosions leading to civilian casualties and injuries. A number of shells reportedly landed close to a United Nations guesthouse and some 700 meters away from the United Nations hub.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.