50,000 flee twin offensives in Syria’s Afrin and Ghouta

Mar 16, 2018, 7:11 AM EDT
Nearly 6.1 million civilians have been internally displaced in war-ravaged Syria.
(Source: Freedom House/flickr)

Two separate offensives in Syria’s eastern Ghouta and the northern town of Afrin have driven nearly 50,000 people out of their homes in recent days, taking the tally of internally displaced civilians to more than six million during seven years of civil war.

Turkish shelling killed more than 18 people in Afrin, a Syrian town that harbors the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), which the country considers as an arm of the Kurdish rebels on its own territory, notes the BBC.  

The Syrian regime has cut off basic supplies to the besieged rebel enclave of eastern Ghouta, forcing 20,000 people to abandon the town of Hamouriyah even as leaders from Russia, Iran and Turkey met in Kazakhstan's capital, Astana, to chalk out a plan for ending the Syrian crisis, writes Al Jazeera.