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Syria: UN remains concerned over hostilities in north-west

29 Aug 2019

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On 22 July 2019, in the Syrian Arab Republic, a young boy collects a UNICEF-supported summer clothing kit at a refugee camp in Al-Hol south of Hassakeh city. Credit: UNICEF

The UN remains gravely concerned over the recent escalation of hostilities in north-west Syria. Ongoing clashes, shelling and air strikes, including the use of barrel bombs, continue unabated in Idleb, in western Aleppo and in northern Hama, damaging schools, hospitals and other critical civilian infrastructure, while hindering humanitarian aid operations.

Satellite images show that entire towns and villages have been destroyed, while dozens of communities have been emptied. Since the start of hostilities at the end of April, more than 550 civilians have been killed and more than 400,000 people have been displaced from northern Hama and southern Idleb governorates, many of them multiple times. Nearly half of those people are living outside camps and reception centres, and in the open air or under trees.

Earlier this week, 15 civilians, including 3 women and 3 children, were reportedly killed in airstrikes on 7 communities in Idleb governorate. On the same day, two schools, a bakery and a hospital were damaged in Kafr Nobel.

Of the 3 million people being impacted – 1.4 million of whom are already displaced – three quarters are women and children. Reports indicate that humanitarian needs are deepening, in particular for shelter, food and non-food items.

Since March 2011, Syria has been in the throes of a conflict that has forced more than half of all Syrians to leave their homes. With 5.6 million Syrian refugees and 6.6 million internally displaced, the crisis has resulted in more than 12 million people in need of assistance.