UNHCR reaches rebel-held area of N.Syria for first time

GENEVA Fri Feb 1, 2013 7:00pm IST

Children play in mud at the Bab Al-Salam refugee camp in Azaz, near the Syrian-Turkish border, January 24, 2013. REUTERS/Zain Karam

Children play in mud at the Bab Al-Salam refugee camp in Azaz, near the Syrian-Turkish border, January 24, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Zain Karam

Related Topics

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, daughter of Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi, adjusts her flower garlands as she campaigns for her mother during an election meeting at Rae Bareli in Uttar Pradesh April 22, 2014. REUTERS/Pawan Kumar

Election 2014

More than 814 million people — a number larger than the population of Europe — are eligible to vote in the world’s biggest democratic exercise.  Full Coverage 

GENEVA (Reuters) - The United Nations refugee agency said on Friday that for the first time it had reached the opposition-held Azaz area of northern Syria where it found an estimated 45,000 displaced people living in appalling conditions in makeshift camps.

"This is an area that the U.N. has not been able to physically reach ever since the beginning of the conflict," Yacoub El Hillo, director of UNHCR's Middle East and North Africa Bureau, told reporters in Geneva.

Azaz is located opposite Kilis camp on the Turkish side that holds about 10,000 Syrian refugees who have crossed that border, according to the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

"On this (Syrian) side it is makeshift camps in appalling conditions. So hopefully this will be the first of many, many convoys that we will be operating," El Hillo said.

The Syrian government does not allow U.N. agencies to enter rebel-held areas from across its borders, but aid agencies including Medecins Sans Frontieres have been active in the Azaz region where temperatures are now sub-zero, he said.

"They want us to continue, it could not have happened without the Syrian government. For the planes to land near Latakia we had to have landing permits and also for the trucks to move," El Hillo said. (Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Jon Boyle)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Ukraine Crisis

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Chequered Past

Chequered Past

From God.com to photography, Korea ferry founder has diverse interests .  Full Article 

Palestine Peace Talks

Palestine Peace Talks

Israel suspends peace talks after Palestinian unity bid.  Full Article 

Lost Plane Mystery

Lost Plane Mystery

Australia rules out link between debris and Malaysian plane.  Full Article 

Obama's Japan Visit

Obama's Japan Visit

Obama reaffirms commitment to Japan on tour of Asia allies.  Full Article 

S. Sudan Crisis

S. Sudan Crisis

U.N. Security Council asks for inquiry into South Sudan massacre.  Full Article 

Papal Saints

Papal Saints

Jews hail new papal saints who revolutionised ties with Catholics.  Full Article 

Fighting Pollution

Fighting Pollution

China to impose tougher penalties on polluters in new environmental law.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage