UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — More than 38,000 people have been displaced from their homes in northwestern Syria within five days, to escape the air strikes carried out by the Syrian regime and its Russian ally, according to the United Nations.
In recent days, Russian and Syrian fighters have carried out raids on the western Aleppo governorate, where jihadists and fighters still control some areas, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
The United Nations expressed “grave concern” over the increase in displacement in northwestern Syria, while a spokesman for the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) David Swanson told France Press that there is “almost daily information about air strikes and artillery fire in the area.”
He explained in a statement that “between January 15 and 19, more than 38,000 people, especially from western Aleppo,” were displaced to other areas within the governorate or to Idlib.
Idlib governorate and some areas in neighboring Aleppo and Latakia remain under the control of the Headquarters for the Liberation of Al-Sham (the former branch of Al-Qaeda in Syria). Other militant factions are also present.
Since the beginning of December, 358,000 people, mainly women and children, have been displaced within northwestern Syria, according to the United Nations.
The Syrian Observatory says that dozens of civilians have been killed in western Aleppo Governorate and in Idlib, especially due to raids carried out by Russian fighters, according to the Observatory.
The observatory identifies the fighters based on the type of aircraft, the location of the bombing, the flight plans and the ammunition used. For its part, Moscow denies participating in any “combat mission”.
In a statement on Friday, Misty Boswell of the International Committee of the Red Cross said that “the recent escalation has opened the door to a dangerous new front.”
“The camps are full, health services are depleted, and the majority of (the displaced) live in fragile, overcrowded tents, flooded with water,” she said.
Damascus reiterates its intention to restore the entire region and its surroundings, despite several armistice agreements reached over the past years.
The conflict in Syria since March 2011 has left more than 380,000 people dead, including more than 115,000 civilians.
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