FM: Turkey airdrops aid to internally displaced persons in Iraq

Photo: FM: Turkey airdrops aid to internally displaced persons in Iraq / Turkey

The Turkish government airdropped humanitarian aid to thousands of members of the Yazidi community on Aug. 7, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said, Hurriyet Daily News reported.

"Humanitarian aid [provided by Turkey's disaster agency, AFAD] was delivered by Iraq's helicopters for members of the Yazidi community trapped in the mountains of the Sinjar region," Davutoglu told private broadcaster NTV Aug. 7.

Davutoglu's statement came right after he chaired a security meeting with the participation of Land Forces Commander Gen. Hulusi Akar, Gendarmerie Forces Commander Gen. Servet Yörük and National Intelligence Organization (MİT) chief Hakan Fidan. The meeting focused on the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant's (ISIL) advance into northern Iraq, which presents a security risk for Turkey amid growing concern about an influx of Iraqi minority groups fleeing violence into Turkey.

Having already started to supply humanitarian aid to Turkmens, the minister said: "Having the experience of Syria, what we want to do is to set up camps in the Kurdish region [of Iraq]. We could not manage that in the Syrian case," in reference to plans to erect a camp in the Dohuk region for 20,000 Iraqi Turkmens.

The camp's capacity could be increased to 40,000 in the future to head off a mass influx of displaced people in Iraq.

The government has ordered border governors to take necessary measures, the minister said, noting that a number of Yazidis had crossed into Turkey and took shelter with relatives. "Not a single Yazidi is kept waiting on the Turkish border," he added. Despite Turkey's current aid to the Yazidis, Kurds in northern Syria have long accused Ankara of facilitating ISIL activities in the area.

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