Turkey to build camp for displaced Iraq's Ezidis

The camp is going to house around 16,000 people, Turkish disaster and emergency management agency says

The camp is going to house around 16,000 people, Turkish disaster and emergency management agency says

ANKARA - Turkey is going to build a refugee camp in northern Iraq for around 16,000 people from the crisis-stricken country's Ezidi ethnic minority who fled from Sinjar amid ongoing attacks by Islamic State militants, Turkey's emergency management authority has said.

The camp is going to be built in the city of Zakho located only a few kilometers from the Iraqi-Turkish border, AFAD said, adding that 30 to 40 thousand Ezidis fled to Syria, whereas around 100,000 more sought refuge in Zakho, Duhok.

"There are currently around 6,500 Ezidis seeking shelter near the border," AFAD said.

The agency is also planning to send four trucks of humanitarian aid to the region in order to meet the essential requirements of the displaced minority group.

The Kurdish regional government in northern Iraq has decided to grant $15 million in emergency aid to the Ezidis, the government announced on its official website Wednesday.

The money earned from oil sales is going to be spent to meet the immediate requirements of the displaced Ezidis from Sinjar, the Kurdish government said, adding that the Dohuk Governorate has been commissioned to distribute aid in the region.

Amid fierce clashes with the Iraqi army and the Kurdish peshmerga forces, IS militants have tightened their grip on northern Iraq, seizing towns with minority populations, as well as Iraq’s largest dam near Mosul.

The militants captured Sinjar and Rabia in the Nineveh province last week, forcing thousands of Turkmen, Arabs, Christians and Ezidis to flee.

So far, about 2,000 Ezidi refugees from Iraq crossed the Habur border post to seek refuge in southeast Turkey. The refugees have been placed in tents and post-earthquake houses in the region. 

The Turkish Red Crescent provided 20 thousand blankets and sleeping pads, and sent a truckload of biscuits and drinking water to Silopi district in the southeastern Turkish province of Sirnak. The aid is being distributed to the refugees under the supervision of AFAD, the agency said Wednesday.

The humanitarian organization also sent two trucks of food and cleaning supplies to help out the displaced Turkmens in the town of Tuz Khurmatu in the northern Iraqi province of Salahaddin.

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