3 min read  | Aleppo

Syria Direct: News Update 1-6-15


January 6, 2015

Some aid as displaced Syrians face snowstorm

A Turkish humanitarian organization has opened a new camp for internally displaced Syrians in northern Aleppo province as Syria faces a fierce snowstorm this week, an Aleppo-based independent journalist told Syria Direct Tuesday.

“The camp is in the town of Seju, located near the [opposition-controlled] city of Azaz [on the Turkish border], and can currently hold more than 1,000 people,” said Hareth Abdulhaq, who was in the camp during its opening.  The camp is home to a school and a mosque and medical clinics are currently under construction, the journalist said.

The Turkish Humanitarian Relief Organization (IHH) says it opened the camp to help homeless Syrians through the winter.

“Our brothers lived in mud during the winter, and people have died due to the cold,” said Bulent Yildirim, the head of the IHH. The camp will eventually be able to hold 10,000 people, according to pro-opposition Smart News Agency.

In related news, the prime minister of UAE and ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, said that the UAE will support Syrians during the impending snowstorm and appealed to the international community for additional aid on Tuesday.

“I call on all international and humanitarian organizations and governments to stand with the children and women of the refugee camps who face the storm in tents without food.”

CampAtmahA camp for internally displaced Syrians in Idlib province near the Turkish border. Photo courtesy of @syria_omar.

Kurds reportedly control 80% of Kobani

Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and allied forces have taken control of 80 percent of Kobani after capturing the Security Square from the Islamic State Monday morning, reported the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights Tuesday.

The Security Square, which had been under IS control for three months, contains the headquarters of the YPG and local government in Kobani.

The YPG’s capture of the Security Square coincided with at least three international coalition airstrikes on IS positions in Kobani, reported the SOHR.

Unnamed Kurdish security officials in Kobani confirmed Kurdish control over 80 percent of the city to Saudi-owned daily A-Sharq Al-Awsat Tuesday.

For its part, IS’s Wilayat A-Raqqa news channel released a short clip on YouTube Monday discussing the battle in Kobani, in which an IS fighter addresses Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

“O Sheikh, we, your soldiers, in your land in Kobani…will continue on until the last drop of blood. Their airplanes and coalition don’t scare us…nothing will happen to us except what God has written.”

SOHR: 6,500 civilian deaths from aerial assaults through 2014

Regime warplanes and helicopters killed 6,500 civilians throughout 2014, including 1,800 children, reported the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights Monday.

“The percentage of martyrs who died because of regime warplane bombings represented 35 percent of the total civilian losses for 2014.”

Aleppo province witnessed more than 50 percent of the total civilian deaths from aerial bombings.

The SOHR did not say how they documented civilian casualties, and their numbers could not be independently verified.

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