Ankara plans to build a new town near Syrian city of al-Bab in six months.
The Turkish Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) plans to build a new town to the north of al-Bab city in the Syrian province of Aleppo in order to accommodate 80,000 people, the Enab al-Baladi information website reported, citing an engineer, working for the project, Othman Sultan. Reportedly, the plan has already been criticized by experts, according to whom it has “suspicious demographic and political objectives.”
According to Sultan, the new town will be located in Nadhah region to the north of al-Bab city. The engineer noted that there will be two districts in the town, the first of which will consist of 400 buildings, stretching over a 2 km area, while the second one will be filled with 311 four-story buildings. He also added that there will be four schools in the first district of the town, while the second area will have three schools. According to Sultan, every district will also have a grand mosque, two prayers rooms and a hospital.
A journalist with close links to the Turkish government, Hamza Tekin, confirmed the Sultan’s words and added that the town’s construction process will take about six months. However, according to building experts, the project will need at least three years to be completed, especially considering the fact that it will be located in the combat operational zone.
According to political analyst Seyed Mostafa Khoshcheshm, Ankara is going to arrange a ‘construction show’ in the region in order to justify its mid-term presence there for humanitarian reasons, as well as to build the town in order to achieve its long-term goals.
“If accomplish, Turkey will certainly try to relocate a large number of Arab refugees to al-Bab, as it will help them get rid of a portion of its Syrian refugees, whose concentration on Syrian soil would then become a burden for the international community. Secondly, Turkey would change the population structure of al-Bab in favor of Arabs to push Kurdish population further to the east. And the last but not the least, it could start its safe zone’s plan that has recently received US President Donald Trump’s approval, all through this single move,” the Fars news agency quoted the words of the political analyst.
Khoshcheshm noted that it is unlikely that Russia, Syria and Iran will agree with the Turkish plan, unless they receive the needed guarantees, considering strong opposition of the Syrian government to the plan of Turkey and the US on establish the so-called safe zones, which “envisages a belt in northern Syria to accommodate refugees, whose security, according to the plan, should be provided by militant groups.”