LATAKIA /Syria/, June 17. /TASS/. The temporary accommodation centers in the Syrian province of Latakia have received refugees from the Idlib de-escalation zone where military activities are ongoing, Spokesman for the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the Opposing Sides in Syria Sergei Smolinsky told reporters, adding that the Russian military had provided humanitarian aid to the refugees.
"They need help for they are not only facing welfare issues but psychological problems as well," he said.
Officers from the Russian Center continue to distribute food kits and bedding among refugees, while military doctors provide them with medical assistance.
According to Idlib Governor Fadi Sadun, the authorities are determined to make everything possible to encourage people to return to their homes. "Many families left Idlib. According to our data, as many as 7,500 refugees reside in Latakia, 11,000 found shelter in Hama, while others moved to Homs, Damascus and other cities. Our goal is to bring them back and we will make every effort to that end. The process will begin as soon as the situation in Idlib improves," he said.
Situation in Idlib
In accordance with a decision made by Russia, Iran and Turkey - the guarantors of the Syrian ceasefire - de-escalation zones were set up in Syria in May 2017. They include the Idlib Province, some parts of its neighboring areas in the Latakia, Hama and Aleppo provinces, Eastern Ghouta, as well as some areas in the Daraa and al-Quneitra provinces in southern Syria. Damascus took control of three of the four zones in 2014, but the zone covering the Idlib province and certain parts of the Latakia, Hama and Aleppo provinces is still controlled by terrorists from the Jabhat al-Nusra terror group (outlawed in Russia).
Head of the Russian Center for Reconciliation Major General Viktor Kupchishin said earlier that the Suran checkpoint had been established to secure the exit of civilians from the Idlib de-escalation zone. According to recent data, 40,000 to 80,000 people are ready to leave the area. Temporary accommodation has been set up for them in the provinces of Hama, Homs and Deir ez-Zor.