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UNICEF: "Over half a million children in Northern Syria forced to flee since December 2019"

Editing: Mohamad Alaa |
Translation: Muhammad Ghaith
Publication date: 2020/02/18 20:27

Turkey - SMART

On Tuesday, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said that more than 500,000 Syrian children have been displaced in Northern Syria since early December 2019. 

In a statement, the UNICEF said that tens of thousands of children and their families now living in tents and in the open air amid very cold weather and rains.

The UNICEF documented the killing and injuring of 77 children since the beginning of 2020 due to escalated violence in Northern Syria.

Henrietta Fore, UNICEF Executive Director, said "The situation in the northwest is untenable, even by Syria’s grim standards. Children and families are caught between the violence, the biting cold, the lack of food and the desperate living conditions. Such abject disregard for the safety and wellbeing of children and families is beyond the pale and must not go on."

Fore added, “The carnage in northwest Syria continues to exact a horrific toll on children. It is time for the guns to go silent and for the violence to stop once and for all."

Fore said, "Parties to the conflict must protect children and the infrastructure on which they depend, give families respite and allow humanitarian workers to respond to the massive needs, in accordance with international humanitarian law."

Earlier on Tuesday, the UN documented that 900,000 people have fled Northern Syria since December 2019. The UN added that the Syrian government forces shell refugee camps directly, killing and injuring  forcibly displaced people.

The Syrian government forces and loyalist militias, supported by Russia, are launching a ground military attack on the southern and eastern countryside of Idlib and the southern and western countryside of Aleppo. The Syrian government gained control of dozens of villages and towns in the region, after intense shelling. The shelling killed and injured hundreds of civilians, and displaced hundreds of thousands of others.

This attack is considered a continuation of the military operation launched by the Syrian government forces and Russia on Idlib on Apr. 25, 2019. During the military operation, the Syrian government forces gained total control of the northern countryside of Hama and the area of Khan Sheikhun. Military analysts and journalists said that by this military operation, the Syrian government aims to gain control of the Aleppo-Damascus international highway that connects Turkey to Jordan and the Arab Gulf States in order to reopen it later under Russian and Turkish sponsorship agreed upon by the two countries.