Turkish officials said on Friday they planned to set up a camp in Syria to host people evacuated from the city of Aleppo but would continue to take the sick and wounded to hospitals in Turkey. Two potential sites, around 3.5 km (2 miles) inside Syria, have been identified for a camp with the capacity to host up to 80,000 people, two senior officials told Reuters.
"Work on the infrastructure for the camp will begin shortly," another official from the Turkish aid organisation IHH said by phone from inside Syria. The camp will be jointly set up by the Turkish Red Crescent, disaster agency AFAD and IHH.
The IHH official said evacuees had so far largely found shelter with relatives in and around Syria's Idlib province, southwest of Aleppo, but that work to identify those with nowhere to go was under way.
Turkey has taken in 55 wounded or sick evacuees, according to Hasan Aydinlik, head of an emergency response division of Turkey's health ministry. He told reporters at the Cilvegozu border crossing that one of the wounded had died in hospital while four people, including a child, were in serious condition. Close to 8,000 people - rebel fighters and civilians - have been evacuated from the last rebel-held areas of Aleppo under a ceasefire deal brokered by Russia and Turkey that would see the Syrian government take control of the city.
Turkey is already sheltering around 2.7 million Syrian refugees. Officials said Ankara was working to increase the number of buses used for the evacuation, to speed up the process.
An aid official with Syrian NGO Shafak, working on the Aleppo evacuation, said he expected more people to head for the Turkish border on Friday as the villages in the countryside west of Aleppo were full.
Aleppo was divided between government and rebel areas of control for much of the nearly six-year-old civil war. But a lightning advance by the Syrian army and its allies that began in mid-November saw the insurgents lose most of their territory.
Source: National News Agency