More people have fled their homes in Syria over the past 10 weeks than at any other time in the 9-year-old conflict, two UN agencies said on Tuesday.
“It’s the fastest growing displacement we have ever seen in the country,” Jens Laerke from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said, adding that nearly 700,000 people had fled since December, mostly women and children.
Another 280,000 people could flee from urban centers if fighting continues, including from the city of Idlib, which is packed with people who have escaped fighting elsewhere.
“It has the world’s largest concentration of displaced people and urgently need a cessation of hostilities so as not to turn it into a graveyard,” Laerke added.
“In just 10 weeks, since 1 December, some 690,000 people have been displaced from their homes in Idlib and surrounding areas,” a spokesman for the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said.
“This is, from our initial analysis, the largest number of people displaced in a single period since the Syrian crisis began almost nine years ago,” David Swanson said.
Meanwhile, the European Union foreign and security policy chief Josep Borrell warned that more than a million civilians have been displaced from Idlib since the beginning of February.
Borrell stressed the need to implement the ceasefire agreed between Ankara and Moscow about a month ago. He also stressed that the Assad regime will not bring peace and stability to Syria if it continues to pursue a military logic and the repression of its people, reiterating the EU position that there will be no normalization with the Assad regime. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)