WHO voices concern over humanitarian situation in Idlib

WHO voices concern over humanitarian situation in Idlib

GENEVA/IDLIB-Anadolu Agency
WHO voices concern over humanitarian situation in Idlib

Nearly 130,000 civilians have been displaced in Syria's northwestern province of Idlib, the World Health Organization said on Dec. 26.

Some 12 million people are in need of medical assistance in Syria as regime and Russian jets pound civilian settlements, according to a statement.

So far, 14 dispensaries and two hospitals have been closed down and 42 other healthcare facilities risk closure if attacks continue in the region, it added.

Richard Brennan, acting regional emergency director for WHO in the Eastern Mediterranean, said: “The recent military tensions in the region have led to civilian casualties, injuries and intensification of human suffering."

Meanwhile, the United Nations on Dec. 26dispatched 43 truckloads of humanitarian aid to Idlib, a northwestern Syrian province torn by
the years-long civil war.

The trucks passed through the Cilvegözü border gate in southern Turkey, with the aid to be distributed to residents in urban areas of Idlib, as well as the surrounding countryside.

2,000 civilians flee in 24 hours

Violating the cease-fire agreement between Turkey and Russia, intense attacks by the Syrian regime, Russia, and Iranian-backed groups in Idlib, northwestern Syria have forced 2,000 more civilians to flee the Syrian region in the last 24 hours, according to sources on the ground.

With the latest developments, the number of civilians who fled Idlib since November has reached 217,000.

WHO voices concern over humanitarian situation in Idlib

On Dec. 20, the Assad regime and its allies launched a military campaign mainly in the cities of Maarat Al-Numan and Saraqib as well as the surrounding rural areas, capturing 35 residential areas.

Families need urgent basic supplies such as shelter, blankets, and beds in the areas where they took shelter, Mohammad Hallaj, director of Syria's Response Coordination Group, told Anadolu Agency.

After a Turkish Cabinet meeting on Dec. 24, presidential spokesman İbrahim Kalın said Turkey expects a halt to these attacks as soon as possible through a new cease-fire.

According to the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces, the Idlib province is home to around three million civilians, 75% of them women and children.

In September 2018, Turkey and Russia agreed to turn Idlib into a de-escalation zone in which acts of aggression would be expressly prohibited.

Since then, more than 1,300 civilians have been killed in attacks by the regime and Russian forces in the de-escalation zone as the cease-fire continues to be violated.

Over a million Syrians have moved near the Turkish border due to the intense attacks over the last year.

Since the eruption of the bloody civil war in Syria in 2011, Turkey has taken in some 3.7 million Syrians who fled their country, making Turkey the world's top refugee-hosting country.

Ankara has so far spent $40 billion for the refugees, according to official figures.