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Tens of thousands flee new surge in Syria violence

11 February 2016

As people continue to flee from Aleppo region, Save the Children warns that tens of thousands have also been displaced in a fresh exodus from Dara’a in southern Syria.

Thousands of families are now trapped between borders and conflict zones as fighting intensifies in both the north and south of the country. Up to 80 per cent of those displaced around Aleppo are said to be women and children.

“We are witnessing the worst refugee crisis since the Second World War, and each day the situation grows worse,” said Misty Buswell, Regional Advocacy Director, Save the Children.

“Save the Children has received reports that in just the past few days, thousands of civilians have been forced from their homes as violence escalates throughout key areas of Aleppo and Dara’a. Women and children are fleeing in their thousands, only to have nowhere safe to escape to.”

There are also growing fears that thousands of families in Aleppo city may soon be trapped under siege. Buswell also noted that other besieged towns and cities in Syria have been cut off from receiving food, water and essential supplies. “Children have been dying of starvation as a result,” said Buswell.

Save the Children has joined other humanitarian aid groups in calling for an immediate end to the violence and renewed peace negotiations to end the nearly five years of conflict.

Save the Children also calls on parties to the conflict to stop the targeting of schools and hospitals. There are reports that the last three functioning hospitals in rural northern Syria have shut down due to recent airstrikes.

“These attacks on populated areas are simply unacceptable,” Buswell adds. “All parties to the conflict must be held accountable to ensure that civilians are spared the worst effects, and are not targeted.”

Since the Syrian conflict began in March 2011, 5.8 million children have been displaced, either within Syria or as refugees in the region. Syrian children have been forced from their homes at the average rate of 3,245 a day.