Published: Wed, June 13, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Government forces launched another airstrike in Syria, injured children

Government forces launched another airstrike in Syria, injured children

"The Secretary-General underscores the precarious plight of the estimated 2.3 million people in Idlib governorate, 60 per cent of whom are civilians displaced by the conflict from other areas, most recently from Eastern Ghouta", he added.

"We have seen in the last few weeks an escalation of even fighting between these groups that have taken place", he said, noting that fighting had been occurring around health facilities and other civilian areas.

Panos Moumtzis of U.N. OCHA said military escalation could make Idlib's situation "much more complicated and brutal" than other conflict zones in Syria.

His comments came after several deadly air strikes in recent days in Idlib that have left dozens of people dead, including children.

"According to available information, there was fierce fighting in the past twenty-four hours in the said district of the province of Idlib between a large formation of the Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist organization [outlawed in Russia] and the Jaysh al-Ahrar irreconcilable opposition grouping with the use of heavy artillery guns", the defense ministry said.

"Nine civilians, including three children, were killed in the raids on the town of Taftanaz", said the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Russian Federation is a main backer of Bashar Assad's forces and has helped turn the tide of war in his favor with a campaign of airstrikes.

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It was designated previous year as a de-escalation zone, but violence has been creeping up again. Nevertheless, the Assad regime and Russian forces have continued to carry out attacks on the region.

Across Syria, more than two million people are in so-called hard-to-reach areas and around 11,000 are still under siege in three opposition-controlled locations.

He recalled that Idlib is part of the de-escalation agreement for Syria reached between Turkey, Russia and Iran, and urged those guarantors to uphold their commitment.

"The humanitarian response on the ground is really at a breaking point".

According to the United Nations, more than 920,000 people have been displaced in Syria this year, the highest level since the start of conflict in 2011. "This was the highest displacement in that short period of time we have seen since the conflict started", he said.

It brings the number of people internally displaced in the war-ravaged country to 6.2 million, while there are still some 5.6 million Syrian refugees in neighbouring countries, according to United Nations figures.

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