World, Middle East

Syria: Attacks in Idlib force 44,000 to flee in 4 days

With latest developments, number of civilians who fled Idlib since November reaches 328,000

Mehmet Burak Karacaoglu, Esref Musa   | 03.01.2020
Syria: Attacks in Idlib force 44,000 to flee in 4 days Syrian families, who have been forced to displace despite attacks carried out by Assad regime and Russia, sit on soil field despite the cold weather during winter season at Harbanush village in Idlib, Syria on December 28, 2019. ( Muhammed Said - Anadolu Agency )

IDLIB, Syria

Some 44,000 civilians fled Idlib, a de-escalation zone in the northwestern Syria, over the last four days, a Syrian NGO said on Friday.

With the latest developments, the number of civilians who fled Idlib since November has reached 328,000.

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.

In the past four days, some 44,000 civilians out of 428,000 fled as a result of the attacks, Mohammad Halaj, the head of Syria’s Response Coordination Group, told Anadolu Agency on Friday.

If the attacks intensify again, there is concern that migration will start in the Jabal Al-Zawiya region in southern Idlib, which might cause displacement of over 250,000 civilians.

Families seek shelter and are in need of urgent basic supplies such as blankets and beds, he added.

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

Since then, over 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.

More than 1 million Syrians have moved near the Turkish border due to the intense attacks over the last year.

* Writing by Burak Bir

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