MSF: 450,000 Syrians Displaced Since Start of Assad & Allies’ Onslaught on Idlib & Hama
Bombing and shelling by the Assad regime and Russia on the provinces of Idlib and Hama in the past three months have forced more than 450,000 people to flee their homes for the Turkish borders, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) announced on Wednesday, adding that the aggression has led left hundreds dead and thousands injured.
“The violence has escalated over the past month, leading to more people killed or wounded than at any time so far this year,” the Geneva-based organization said, explaining that most of the displaced people needed humanitarian assistance.
“Medical facilities, schools, markets and camps for displaced people have been hit and damaged in the offensive. One MSF-supported hospital has been damaged by bombing, while other MSF-supported facilities have had to partially interrupt their services multiple times over recent weeks for fear of being hit.”
The medical charity added: “Most of the newly-displaced people have headed for densely-populated areas and are now living in tents or out in the open under olive trees, in need of food, water and medical care.”
“What we’re facing now are hundreds of thousands of displaced people living in appalling conditions,” says Lorena Bilbao, operations coordinator for MSF programs in Syria. “Many of the settlements are very overcrowded, their infrastructure is inadequate and living conditions are unhygienic, posing a severe risk of disease outbreaks.”
“If people do not have clean water to drink, we can expect more people with dehydration, diarrhea and waterborne diseases in the coming weeks,” Bilbao says. “This will lead to a further deterioration of what is already a critical situation.”
The Syrian National Coalition earlier said that “the Syrian people are victim of genocide in which the international community is complicit either directly or indirectly,” pointing out these attacks constituted war crimes.
The Syrian Network for Human Rights said that it recorded at least 33 massacres in northwestern in Syria, especially in Idlib, between April 26 and July 27, adding that those massacres claimed the lives of medical workers and civil defense volunteers. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)