Rights Group: 167 Syrian Civilians Died from Extreme Cold Since 2011
The Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) revealed in its latest report released Thursday that it has documented the deaths of 167 Syrian citizens, including 77 children, who have died due to the extreme cold in Syria since March 2011. It appealed for relief for nearly 700,000 recently forcibly displaced persons due to the attacks by Russian-Iranian-Syrian alliance on northwest Syria in light of the cold wave hitting the region.
Between March 2011 and January 31, 2020, the report documents the deaths of 167 civilians due to the cold in Syria, including 77 children and 18 women (adult female).
The report includes the distribution of the death toll according to the practices of the parties that caused these people’s death, with 146 of these people dying at the hands of Syrian Regime forces, including 25 who died in the regime’s prisons also as a result of the cold, with the report also attributing responsibility for the death of 11 civilians due to cold to the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, and five more deaths as a result of cold to ISIS, while five others died of cold while migrating to Europe.
The report warns that the catastrophic situation facing IDPs from Idlib region threatens a very real risk of further deaths caused by the freezing weather, noting that at the beginning of December 2019, Syrian-Russian alliance forces escalated their attacks on the southern and eastern suburbs of Idlib.
The report adds that at least 689,000 displaced persons have been forced to leave their homes and land as a result of the military operations seen in the Idlib region since December 1, 2019, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
The report notes that hundreds of thousands of displaced persons are now living in different areas in the region; some of these people have spread along the area on the Syrian-Turkish border, where hundreds of small camps have sprung up, while others have fled towards the mountainous areas in the northern suburbs of Idlib, with these people hardly finding any shelter in light of the subzero temperatures that have reached minus 8 degrees in the past days.
The report further calls on the UN Security Council to pass a resolution concerning some seven million internally displaced persons in Syria that addresses forced displacement, to ensure that this does not become a long-term crisis, and to put pressure on the Syrian regime to end displacements, and enact laws aimed at preventing the plunder of displaced persons’ properties and possessions. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)