The UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria said that the Assad regime had displaced over one million people during the first four months of 2018, the highest level in the seven-year conflict.
In a report released on Wednesday, the Geneva-based Commission said that the majority of the displaced people are “now living in dire conditions.” It also said the Assad regime used chemical weapons in three occasions in the same period.
The report highlighted six key battles that led to mass internal displacement and the plight of those civilians uprooted from their homes. It noted that between January and June, intense fighting took place in Aleppo, northern Homs, Damascus, Rif Damascus, Dara’a, and Idlib governorates.
Most battles that were fought by the Assad regime forces and their allies were marked by war crimes including launching indiscriminate attacks, deliberately attacking protected objects, using prohibited weapons, pillaging and/or forced displacement, the report said.
The report highlighted the situation of internally displaced persons in Rif Damascus. “In regime controlled areas, thousands of displaced civilians continue to endure hardships in severely overcrowded and/or under-resourced sites, where many are still being unlawfully interned by Government forces.”
The Syrian Coalition said that the barbaric bombardment by the Assad regime and Russian forces indicated they have a strategy to displace the population and destroy whole cities. The Coalition warned that the Assad regime and its allies are trying to repeat the scenario of eastern Ghouta and Dara’a in the province of Idlib.
The Coalition warned of a new wave of forced displacement in northern Syria leading to demographic change, stressing that “there is no other Idlib for Syrian civilians to move to.” It added: “A new mass exodus of civilians from Idlib will lead to an unprecedented humanitarian disaster as the province is home to over three million people.” (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)