Turkey not intending to accept evacuees from Aleppo: Official

Istanbul, Dec 19 (IANS) Turkey on Monday said it has no intention to bring in Syrian citizens evacuated from the city of Aleppo.

“Turkey prepares to keep these people in their home country in camps to be built by the Turkish Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency and the Turkish Red Crescent,” Efe news quoted a Turkish Foreign Ministry official as saying to the foreign press here.

“The idea is to keep these people in and around Idlib,” the official said, adding only those wounded, sick or in need of immediate attention might be brought to Turkey.

Turkey is currently hosting more than 2.5 million Syrians fleeing a civil war that has been raging for years.

According to Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Veysi Kaynak, the number of Syrians evacuated from Aleppo is expected to hit 30,000.

After the evacuation resumed on Sunday, 4,500 more had left eastern Aleppo since midnight, bringing the total evacuees to 20,000.

The evacuation of opposition forces from eastern Aleppo came as part of a Turkish-Russian deal and with the evacuation of the rebels from Aleppo’s east, the Syrian army will take control of the entire city.

Foreign Ministers of Russia, Turkey and Iran will meet in Moscow on Tuesday to discuss the details of the evacuation.