Iraq News

Fighting in north-west Syria causes 200,000 displacements: UN

Escalating violence in north-west Syria has caused more than 200,000 displacements since mid-December, the UN said Tuesday (January 16th), warning that medical facilities in the area were struggling to cope, AFP reported.

The Syrian regime and its allies launched an offensive in late 2017 against extremists and allied opposition groups in Idlib, the last province in the country still fully outside its control.

The assault has seen tens of thousands flee, with many displaced multiple times.

In a new situation report published Tuesday, the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said it had recorded 212,140 instances of displacement between December 15th and January 16th.

The largest displacement -- 58,338 people -- was to the village of Dana in Idlib province, but other waves of civilians fled to areas in the adjacent provinces of Aleppo and Hama.

In a first, OCHA said, around 6,700 families fled opposition-held areas of Hama province to nearby regime-controlled territory.

Idlib and slivers of the neighbouring provinces are now hosting more than 1.1 million internally displaced Syrians, according to the UN.

As hostilities between Syrian troops and anti-regime forces escalate, OCHA said it had received reports of several health clinics in the area being rendered out of service in bombardment.

Other facilities were "running low" on medical supplies, it warned.

"The low winter temperatures and the lack of shelter is exacerbating the health situation of the internally displaced people (IDPs) causing winter-related illnesses," the report said.

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