GAZIANTEP (Turkey), Jan 22 (Bernama) - Six participants of the Winter Humanitarian Aid Mission to Turkey and Syria were ordered to leave the city of Aleppo (Syria) around 1 pm yesterday (Tuesday) following incidents of bombings nearby.
Global Peace Mission (GPM) Malaysia chief executive officer Ahmad Fahmi Mohd Samsudin said the incidents occurred when their group was travelling to the area to send aid.
“The group was supposed to leave Syria at night after visiting a bread factory in A’zaz province. The six of us were in the van at that time and were on our way to send a supply of flour to the factory. However, we were startled by a series of bomb explosions.
“The first explosion took place only about 500 metres from our van, then it was followed by several more explosions in the nearby areas,” he told Bernama TV reporter who had also been following the mission since Jan 10.
Ahmad Fahmi said a field friend from Bonyan Organisation, a Turkish non-governmental organisation which accompanied the Malaysian mission group to enter Syria, also advised them to leave Aleppo immediately.
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“Subsequently, we headed for the Al-Salama border gate which is the entry-and-exit point to Kilis (Turkey). The security checks were also done right away by the Syrian-Turkish security forces so that we could safely leave the place,” he said.
According to Ahmad Fahmi, the visit to the flour factory was the last location after the team provided aid of 1,000 gallons of clean water to several families in the province.
A day before, the group had successfully delivered food supply, fuel and winter packs consisting of mattresses and thick blankets to nearly 1,500 refugees families.
During the mission, the team also distributed 65 packs of healthy food to students with disabilities and those still traumatised by the bombings.
Also distributed were 12,500 litres of fuel worth USD12,300 (RM50,000) to power heaters installed in the refugee camps, which were normally occupied by between five and seven family members each, he said.
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In addition, Ahmad Fahmi, who is also the head of the mission, said 5,600 packets of bread were distributed to 600 families.
“Since the staple food of the Syrian people is bread, we supplied flour to a bakery there. The refugees then will get fresher bread, at least 10 loaves of bread to a family,” he added.
TAG: Humanitarian, mission, fuel, flour, bread, explosions, bombings, Aleppo