AANES accuses the Syrian regime of blocking evacuations from Sudan
The Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES) accuses the government in Damascus of blocking evacuation missions from Sudan.
The Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES) accused the government in Damascus of blocking evacuation missions from Sudan. The regime has cancelled an AANES contract with a private airline and is imposing "prohibitive conditions" that make it impossible to organise further rescue missions for Syrian citizens, the AANES Foreign Affairs Department said in a statement on Friday.
AANES has so far brought more than 360 people to safety, including many women and children, with two evacuation flights from Sudan. Cham Wings Airlines (Ajnehat Al Sham) aircraft were chartered for the rescue mission, bringing a total of 369 Syrian nationals to Qamişlo. However, according to AANES, Damascus is demanding that further evacuation missions from Sudan to the capital Damascus take place. Syrians stranded in the embattled country are pressured to be voluntarily taken to Syrian regime territory. In addition, the regime claims the evacuation flights organised by the AANES for itself.
"We call on the Syrian government to immediately end its blockade," said AANES. Because of this action, it said, hundreds of people are stuck in Sudan who could have been back home long ago. “Now they have to fear being forcibly flown out to Damascus. This indicates that a further transfer to the autonomous region could be prevented. Damascus must pull out all the stops to allow citizens of this country stranded in Sudan to return safely. We call on the government to fulfil its moral obligations and responsibilities towards these people," the statement said.
Hundreds of people have been killed in the military clashes that broke out in Sudan about six weeks ago and about 1.4 million are fleeing to safer areas.