02/28/2019, 09.36
SYRIA
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Syria, hundreds of civilians and combatants flee last Isis stronghold

Bombs, explosive belts and silencers found in the village of Baghouz. About 40 thousand people have fled in the last three months; of these 15 thousand since 9 February, start of the offensive. Civilians in bad conditions, at least 78 people died trying to reach the reception centers.

Damascus (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The exodus of hundreds of people of different nationalities continues from the last enclave of the Islamic State (IS, ex Isis) in Syria, escorted on the ground by the Arab-Kurdish forces supported by the United States.

Part of Baghouz, a small cluster of houses and land on the banks of the Euphrates, not far from the borders with Iraq, is what remains today of what was once called the "Caliphate" and which had occupied half the territory of Syria and Iraq.

During the patrol and check operations of people fleeing from Baghouz, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) men - protagonists of the offensive - found bombs, explosive belts and silencers inside the village. Local sources report that the great "variety" of people emerging from the area shows how ISIS has attracted people from all over the world.

Women from Iraq, Syria, Russia, Azerbaijan and Poland, an Indonesian boy and Yazidi girls, traumatized and enslaved, are the people on board the truck caravans, who have gathered at a gathering point outside the enclave. About 40 thousand people have fled in the last three months; of these, at least 15 thousand have managed to escape from 9 February, when the departments of the SDF announced the final offensive to reconquer the jihadist stronghold.

The total number was far superior to the initial estimates of the Arab-Kurdish coalition and caused delays in military operations. Only yesterday, at least 15 trucks arrived at the collection points, from which hundreds of women with their veiled faces descended, along with their children exhausted by hunger and looking for food and water.

Men are searched and interrogated, to verify that there are no hidden militiamen among civilians.

Eyewitnesses speak of very bad general conditions of civilians, some of whom risk their lives. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 78 people have died in the last three months, in an attempt to reach the reception centers or in the days following their arrival. The International Relief Committee (IRC), a humanitarian agency active in the north-east of Syria, talks about two children who died yesterday. "Since many of the new arrivals are pregnant women - the IRC explains in a statement - close to their due date, there is a real need to increase services in the maternity sector".

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