TUE 25 - 2 - 2020
Date: Jan 25, 2020
Source: The Daily Star
Some 38,000 flee homes in Aleppo: U.N.
Agence France Presse
BEIRUT: Tens of thousands of civilians fled their homes in northwestern Syria last week in the face of intensified bombardment of rebel territory by pro-government forces, the United Nations said Friday. Between Jan. 15-19, more than 38,000 people fled violence in the rebel-held west of Aleppo province, the OCHA said.

OCHA spokesman David Swanson said the displaced were heading north into territory controlled by Turkish-backed rebel forces or west into Idlib province.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said some of the deadliest strikes of recent days have been carried out by Russia.

But Moscow has denied launching any combat operations in the region since a cease-fire it agreed with rebel supporter Ankara went into effect earlier this month.

The latest wave of displacement compounds a dire humanitarian situation in the rebel-held northwest where more than 358,000 civilians had already been displaced by the intensified bombardment.

“This latest escalation has opened up a dangerous new front in the conflict,” Misty Buswell of the International Rescue Committee said Friday.

“Camps are full, health services are over-stretched, and the majority [of the displaced] are living either in flimsy, closely-packed tents ... or crammed into communal shelters.”

Idlib hosts at least 3 million people, many of whom have fled other parts of the country recaptured by the government and are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance.

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