HEADLINES:

Fighting in NW Syria displaces 948,000, more than half are children: OCHA

As regime continues offensive
A general view of trucks carrying belongings of displaced Syrians, is pictured in the town of Sarmada in Idlib province, Syria, Jan. 28, 2020. (REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi)
2020-02-26

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SULAIMANI — Fighting in northwestern Syria has displaced 948,000 people since December 1, the majority of whom are children, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has said.

In a tweet on Wednesday (February 26), OCHA said that the total includes nearly 180,000 families, more than 195,000 women, and 560,000 children.

Over the past three months, Idlib and Aleppo governorates have seen heavy fighting between the Syrian regime and rebel groups, backed by Russia and Turkey respectively.

In recent days, the regime has made significant advances as it tries to recapture the last major bastion of rebel-held territory in western Syria.

On Tuesday, regime forces captured the town of Kafr Nabl, while rebels made their first recapture since the offensive began when they took the town of Nairab.

In Geneva, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) called on the warring sides to allow safe passage for civilians to escape attacks. It reminded them that hospitals, markets and schools are protected by law.

“We are urging parties to allow civilians to move to safety, either in areas they control or across the front lines,” ICRC spokeswoman Ruth Hetherington said, according to Reuters.

Most of the displaced are cramming into pockets of territory near the Turkish border. Bitter winter weather has made their plight more desperate, with many camping by roads or in fields due to the lack of shelter.

(NRT Digital Media/Reuters)