920,000 displaced in Syria in 2018, highest since conflict began: UN

The UN said Monday (June 11th) that more than 920,000 people were displaced inside Syria during the first four months of 2018, the highest level in the seven-year conflict, AFP reported.

"We are seeing a massive displacement inside Syria... From January to April, there were over 920,000 newly displaced people," Panos Moumtzis, the UN regional humanitarian co-ordinator for Syria, told reporters in Geneva.

"This was the highest displacement in that short period of time we have seen since the conflict started," he said.

It brings the number of people internally displaced in the country to 6.2 million, while there are still some 5.6 million Syrian refugees in neighbouring countries, according to UN figures.

Moumtzis said most of the newly displaced had been forced on the move by escalations in fighting in the former opposition bastion of Eastern Ghouta and within the north-western province of Idlib, which is almost entirely controlled by various extremists and hardline opposition fighters.

His comments came after several deadly airstrikes in recent days in Idlib that have left dozens of people dead, including children.

He said Idlib is part of the "de-escalation" agreement for Syria reached between Turkey, Russia and Iran, and warned of the dire consequences if the province, which has some 2.5 million inhabitants, sinks into full-blown conflict.

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