3,500 families flee homes in Syria’s Hasakah amid US airstrikes

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As many as 3,500 families have so far fled their homes in Syria’s northeastern province of Hasakah amid US airstrikes and clashes between the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the Islamic State (IS) terror group.

The airstrikes and the clashes have been escalating following the jailbreak of IS inmates from a Kurdish-controlled prison in the Gweiran neighbourhood in Hasakah on January 20, Xinhua news agency.

Following the prison break, the SDF engaged in fierce battles with IS militants inside and outside the prison while the US-led warplanes kept on targeting residential areas where the fugitives could have reached.

Earlier on Monday, the warplanes struck a university campus in Hasakah and destroyed the university’s parking lot, as part of their manhunt for the escaped inmates.

Such a situation has pushed thousands of families to flee their homes close to the clashes sites in Kurdish-controlled areas.

Local media reports have said the displaced families reached the government-controlled areas in Hasakah and settled in temporary displacement shelters, as the Syrian army opened safe corridors to secure the fleeing families.

Director of Social Affairs Ibrahim Khalaf said in a statement that due to the increase in the number of displaced families, two new temporary shelters were opened, bringing the number of centres to five in the city.

Khalaf pointed out that the work is underway to equip the sixth centre in light of the continued influx of people from the southern neighbourhoods.

Meanwhile, the Foreign Ministry on Monday held an urgent meeting of representatives from the international organisations operating in Syria to address the crisis in Hasakah.

Hasakah province is largely controlled by the US-backed SDF, while some certain areas, particularly in the city of Qamishli, are still under the control of the Syrian government.

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