More than 400,000 displaced people during three months of escalation in northwestern Syria

UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (VOP TODAY NEWS) — More than 400,000 people have been displaced in northwestern Syria in three months amid the military escalation of the regime and its ally Russia, as the United Nations condemned Friday attacks against civilians, medical facilities and medical facilities.

The province of Idlib and neighboring areas, where about three million people live, almost daily bombing carried out by Syrian and Russian planes since the end of April, does not exclude hospitals, schools and markets, and is accompanied by battles concentrated in the northern Hama countryside.

The bombing killed more than 740 civilians in about three months, according to a Syrian human rights watchdog, at a time when humanitarian organizations said the region was living a “nightmare” as the escalation continued.

“More than 400,000 people have been displaced since the end of April,” said David Swanson, spokesman for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

The Sham Liberation Organization (formerly Nusra Front) has been in charge of administration and militarism in Idlib and its surroundings, where there are also less powerful Islamist factions and fighters.

Al-Qaeda raids on Friday killed three civilians and wounded 20 others. One of the dead was killed by the targeting of the Joomla vegetable market in the town of Saraqib for the second time since Monday, according to the observatory and eyewitnesses.

An Agence France-Presse reporter saw vegetables scattered on the ground and scattered crates, while small cars and trucks parked in the market were hit.

“The market is the lifeblood of the city because people are living there,” said Laith al-Abdullah, director of the city’s civil defense center.

“The brutality used by warplanes to kill civilians and destroy their property is terrible,” he said.

The United Nations on Friday condemned “international indifference” to the lives of the increasing civilian death toll from recent air strikes on “medical facilities, schools and other civilian infrastructure such as markets and bakeries.”

“This property is civilian, and it seems very unlikely that it has been hit because of the ongoing pattern of such attacks,” UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michele Bachelet said in a statement.

It stressed that “deliberate attacks against civilians are a war crime, and that those responsible for carrying out or executing them are criminally responsible for their actions.”

– Free Cities –

The recent escalation, despite the fact that the region was covered by a Russian-Turkish agreement reached in Sochi in September 2018, which provided for the establishment of a demilitarized zone between the regime and the factions, has not been completed.

The area was relatively quiet after the signing of the agreement, but since February the regime’s forces have stepped up their bombing before Russian planes later join.

Residents of Idlib, the southern part of the country, have been deprived of their homes by the intensity of the raids and the northern Hama countryside, where battles of “depletion” between the forces of the regime and the factions have killed hundreds of fighters and coincided with heavy raids.

According to a statement by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) on Friday, the fugitives went to areas not hit by shelling north, close to the border with Turkey, where camps for the displaced are located.

About two thirds of the displaced live outside these camps. About 100 schools in the Idlib district alone are escaping from the escalation.

With overcrowding in camps and shelters, many have to stay in the open and under trees.

Most of the escapees were displaced within the governorate of Idlib, while a few went north of Aleppo.

“Cities and entire villages seem to have disappeared from their population who have fled … in search of safety and basic services,” the United Nations said.

– “The Most Bloody” –

The recent escalation, despite the fact that the region was covered by a Russian-Turkish agreement reached in Sochi in September 2018, which provided for the establishment of a demilitarized zone between the regime and the factions, has not been completed.

The area was relatively quiet after the signing of the agreement, but since February the regime’s forces have stepped up their bombing before Russian planes later join.

Twelve civilians were killed Thursday by Syrian and Russian raids on several areas in Idlib and its environs, according to the Observatory. About 50 civilians were killed Monday, mostly by raids on a market in the town of Ma’arat al-Nu’man.

The United Nations said Monday was among the “bloodiest days” in the region since the end of April. Since the start of the escalation, 39 attacks have been documented against medical facilities and medical personnel in the area, and at least 50 schools have been damaged by raids and shelling.

Militant factions are targeting areas under the control of the regime forces with rocket-propelled grenades, killing 70 civilians since the end of April, according to the observatory.

Syria has been plagued by a bloody conflict since its outbreak in 2011 that killed more than 370,000 people and caused massive damage to infrastructure and displaced more than half of the population inside and outside the country.

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