The UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Stephen O’Brien, called on the Assad regime and other parties involved in Syria to honor their duty to protect civilians and allow safe access for aid as tens of thousands of people have been displaced from Aleppo and elsewhere in the country’s north by heavy regime and Russia bombardment.
In a statement released on Monday, the United Nations emergency relief chief said that he is “gravely concerned by reports that over 30,000 civilians have been displaced from Aleppo City and other areas in northern Syria over the past week by heavy clashes and aerial bombardment by the Government of Syria, allied forces and armed groups.”
“About 80 per cent of them are estimated to be women and children. We have reports that civilians have been killed and injured, and that civilian infrastructure, including at least two hospitals, has been hit,” O’Brien noted.
O’Brien also voiced extreme concern for people in other parts of the country, including in Dar’a governorate in the south, where intensified regime and Russian bombardment and fighting have displaced thousands of people, killing and injuring civilians.
O’Brien added that displacement camps in the areas close to the border with Turkey are already full and running above capacity, with people urgently requiring shelter, food and basic household items.
O’Brien concluded by saying that the UN and its humanitarian partners are working to quickly scale up their response and stocks, providing displaced families with food or cash and vouchers where feasible, as well as deploying mobile clinics, supplying health facilities and increasing water and sanitation services for new arrivals at the camps near Bab al Salameh border crossing.
The Assad regime’s ongoing onslaught on northern Aleppo province backed by intensified Russian airstrikes has triggered a mass displacement of civilians who fled towards the Turkish border. It is estimated that up to 100,000 civilians have been forced out of their homes as a result of the continued regime’s attacks on the area.
The Syrian Coalition earlier said that “the war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Syria, in addition to mass civilian displacements, expose the true intentions behind the Russian intervention in Syria.”
The Syrian Coalition went on to say that “Russia’s intervention was mainly aimed to prop-up the Assad regime by killing and displacing more civilians. Russia used the political process in Geneva to cover up these crimes while the international community and friends of the Syrian people remained silent over crimes committed by the Russians in Syria.” (Source: Syrian Coalition + Agencies)