Medical charity Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said that tens of thousands of Syrian families had fled north towards the Turkish border to escape intense fighting, airstrikes and ground shelling in the provinces of Hama, Aleppo, and Idlib.
In a statement released on Wednesday, MSF said that the displaced households are living in overcrowded tents or makeshift shelters in frigid winter conditions. It noted that hundreds of small villages have been abandoned because residents have fled.
“Formal camps in the area have swelled beyond capacity, leaving most internally displaced people to seek refuge in 160 makeshift settlements spread out over a large area. They live in improvised tents with as many as three or four families in each. Most of the families average six members,” MSF said.
The medical charity went on: “In these informal camps, there is limited access to basic shelter, sanitation, food, water, and medical care.”
MSF warned that “the wet, cold weather and overcrowded camps threaten to contribute to a further deterioration of conditions at a time when many humanitarian actors are scaling back operations inside Syria.”
The Assad regime and its allied foreign militias have significantly intensified attacks on southern rural Idlib as well as northern and eastern rural Hama since early December 2017, backed by close serial support from the Russian air force. The Assad regime’s onslaught in the area continues despite the area being covered by the ‘de-escalation zones’ agreement reached during the Astana talks last year under guarantees from Russia, Iran and Turkey. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)