Third hos­pi­tal to open in lib­er­ated ar­eas in north­ern Syria

As a part of the nor­mal­iza­tion process in the ar­eas lib­er­ated in Tur­key’s Op­er­a­tions Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch, a third hos­pi­tal will of­fi­cially open in a cer­e­mony next week al-Bab

Daily Sabah (Turkey) - - Politics - SAFURE CANTÜRK - ANKARA

THE THIRD hos­pi­tal in ar­eas lib­er­ated from Daesh and the PKK ter­ror­ist group-af­fil­i­ated Peo­ple’s Pro­tec­tion Units (YPG) in north­ern Syria will open next week in al-Bab as ef­forts to nor­mal­ize life con­tinue at full steam.

The in­au­gu­ra­tion cer­e­mony will take place next week for the 500-bed hos­pi­tal in al-Bab, which will be the largest med­i­cal in­sti­tu­tion in the area. “There will be seven op­er­at­ing rooms, four de­liv­ery rooms, 38 in­ten­sive care beds, 55 out­pa­tient clinic beds and 27 emer­gency beds,” Un­der­sec­re­tary of Health Min­istry Eyüp Gümüş told the Turk­ish Sabah daily yes­ter­day.

The hos­pi­tals, which are run by the Turk­ish Health Min­istry, are equipped with all the nec­es­sary equip­ment in case of an armed con­flict. Gümüş said that there will be no need to trans­fer pa­tients be­tween hos­pi­tals ex­cept for com­pli­cated dis­eases af­ter the new hos­pi­tal goes into ser­vice.

Tur­key’s first hos­pi­tal opened in Jarablus in Septem­ber 2016, af­ter the town was lib­er­ated with the cross-bor­der Oper­a­tion Euphrates Shield. At the end of last year, the hos­pi­tal added emer­gency room ser­vice and was ex­panded to 400 beds. Along with the two hos­pi­tals in alBab and Jarablus, an­other one also put into ser­vice in Afrin, which was lib­er­ated from the YPG on March 18 with Oper­a­tion Olive Branch. The hos­pi­tal had pre­vi­ously treated YPG ter­ror­ists, but af­ter the lib­er­a­tion, ex­plo­sives and mines were cleared and doc­tors and health­care per­son­nel were em­ployed in the hos­pi­tal.

Ankara launched Oper­a­tion Euphrates Shield along with Free Syria Army (FSA) fac­tions on Aug. 24 to se­cure Tur­key’s south­ern bor­der. The oper­a­tion was com­pleted in late March, and more than 2,000 square kilo­me­ters of north­ern Syria was lib­er­ated from Daesh, in­clud­ing Jarablus, al-Rai and al-Bab. Since then, Tur­key geared up ef­forts to nor­mal­ize life and cre­ate a war-free en­vi­ron­ment in the lib­er­ated ar­eas to make refugees re­turn with in­fras­truc­ture, health­care, se­cu­rity and ed­u­ca­tion projects. With no­tice­able im­prove­ment in the so­cio-eco­nomic con­di­tion, al-Bab’s pop­u­la­tion more than dou­bled in a year.

Besides for health ser­vices, there has been also a rapid re­cov­ery in terms of in­fras­truc­ture, se­cu­rity and so­cial life in north­ern Syria, in the ar­eas lib­er­ated by the Turk­ish and FSA forces. An ad­min­is­tra­tion was es­tab­lished with the par­tic­i­pa­tion of lo­cal peo­ple in the ar­eas cleared of Daesh, in­clud­ing alRai, Jarablus, al-Bab and Azaz, through Oper­a­tion Euphrates Shield, which was launched Aug. 2016 against Daesh and ended in March 2017. More­over, lo­cal coun­cils were es­tab­lished to ad­min­is­ter the nor­mal­iza­tion process af­ter the evic­tion of Daesh; reg­u­lar se­cu­rity forces were formed, and these lo­cal coun­cils man­aged projects on ed­u­ca­tion, in­fras­truc­ture and the econ­omy.

Jarablus was more or less a ghost town with only around 2,000 in­hab­i­tants under Daesh rule, but af­ter Oper­a­tion Euphrates Shield, its pop­u­la­tion grew again amid a re­build­ing process that Tur­key ac­tively sup­ported. Thou­sands who took shel­ter in Tur­key dur­ing the war re­turned. Both Ankara and non­govern­men­tal or­ga­ni­za­tions are also pur­su­ing ef­forts to build new hous­ing to ac­com­mo­date the re­turn­ing pop­u­la­tion. Schools in the town were also re­built and re­stored with Turk­ish as­sis­tance.

The hos­pi­tal in Jarablus that Tur­key built af­ter the town was lib­er­ated in Oper­a­tion Euphrates Shield.

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