GENEVA, October 18. /TASS/. Almost 166,000 Syrians had to leave their homes over the past seven days because of hostilities, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported on Friday.
"The UN currently estimates some 166,000 people have been forced to flee their homes over the past seven days. Newly displaced families continue to seek shelter in camps, makeshift sites, communal shelters, with family, friends or acquaintances," UNHCR spokesperson Andrej Mahecic told reporters at a press briefing in Geneva.
"Many of them have been displaced multiple times," he added.
According to the UN, over 1,600 Syrian refugees have been transported from the border areas to Iraq as of Friday morning. Most of them come from the towns in northern Syria, specifically, Kobani, Amuda and Qamishli.
On October 9, Ankara announced the launch of a new military campaign in Syria dubbed Operation Peace Spring, which began with airstrikes on the positions of Kurdish units. Its objective was to create a buffer zone in northern Syria where Syrian refugees could return from Turkey, according to the Erdogan regime. Syria’s SANA news agency branded the operation as an act of aggression, while the global community condemned Ankara’s actions.
Some European countries, including Italy, imposed an embargo on arms exports to Turkey. In a phone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte urged him to withdraw troops and stop the military operation.
On October 17, the United States and Turkey reached an agreement on suspending hostilities in northern Syria following the talks in Ankara. Turkey agreed to suspend its military campaign for 120 hours so that Kurdish units, which form part of the Syrian Democratic Forces, could leave the border safe zone that is being created by Ankara.