Russian engineers have erected the first tent camp inside Syria to house thousands of refugees fleeing violence in the east of the country, Russia Today reported. Since the Syrian civil war began in 2011, more than 4 million people have been displaced, causing Europe to experience one of the biggest refugee crises since the end of World War II.

The camp is located on a racetrack in the western city of Hama, 25 miles from the nearest conflict zone. Despite forces of Syria’s authoritarian President Bashar Assad having suffered defeats at the hands of the Islamic State militant group and other insurgent fighters in recent months, the city is thought to be safer now after Russian forces began arriving in the country.

“We appreciate Russia’s help in delivering all the necessary equipment and setting up a camp. With the given situation, Syria is in great need for camps like this to accommodate displaced citizens leaving provinces with active warfare ongoing,” Hama Gov. Ghassan Khalaf told Russia Today.

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