World Media

Syria war displacement this year worst ever

Syria war displacement this year worst ever

The UN has described it as a "dumping ground" for people evacuated and displaced from elsewhere in Syria during the seven-year war.

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights director Rami Abdulrahman said neither Russian nor Syria warplanes had been attacking the area since around midday Monday.

The group has filmed at least nine videos meant to serve as evidence of claims that Damascus has used chlorine against civilians in Idlib, the Russian Reconciliation Center In Syria said on Wednesday.

Speaking from where he monitors the skies in Maarat al-Numan, south of Idlib city, he said there had been no air strikes, although some shelling continued on the frontlines.

"We are in no way ready for the worst-case scenario", the UN's Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Syria Crisis, Panos Moumtzis, told reporters in Geneva.

The United Nations has warned of a potential humanitarian catastrophe in Idlib, the last major rebel stronghold if an expected offensive is carried out by the Syrian government and its allied Russian forces. It has reinforced 12 military observation posts in the region, and stepped up arms shipments to allied rebels.

Syrian government forces backed by Russian Federation and Iran captured wide areas around the country from insurgents earlier this year.

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However last week Erdogan and Putin failed to agree on a ceasefire at a three-way summit in Tehran which also involved Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

More than a million civilians were displaced in six major battles across Syria during the first six months of the year, many marked by war crimes, the report said.

"The safety and protection of some 2.9mn civilians residing in Idlib and surrounding areas is at risk". "We hope it will not be needed".

Two rebel sources in the northwest said some government forces have been observed withdrawing from frontlines in the Hama region, which adjoins Idlib, this week.

German Foreign Minister Maas warned that a large-scale military offensive by the Syrian regime would lead to a humanitarian disaster in Idlib, which is home to more than 3 million civilians. Nevertheless, the majority of the displaced people would be directed towards the north, towards the communities and camps of displaced persons along the border with Turkey, has detailed the UN.

The U.S. has pushed back, with Defence Secretary Jim Mattis saying this week that "right now we see zero evidence that the opposition has any chemical capability, notwithstanding what Russian Federation has been broadcasting repeatedly".

"In conducting airstrikes beginning on 20 January, the Turkish air force may have failed to take all feasible precautions prior to launching certain attacks, in violation of worldwide humanitarian law", the report said.


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