Published: Wed, June 13, 2018
Global | By Marsha Munoz

United Nations chief concerned about airstrikes in Idlib of Syria

United Nations chief concerned about airstrikes in Idlib of Syria

Panos Moumtzis, the Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Syria Crisis, told journalists in Geneva that 1.2 million of the governorate's more than 2.5 million population is now displaced; many of them multiple times.

"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.

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

"Nine civilians, including three children, were killed in the raids on the town of Taftanaz", said the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

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"There is no other location to further move them", he said adding that also in terms of the humanitarian assessment "we see that more than 80 percent of the population of Idlib really is in an extremely vulnerable situation". Russian Federation is Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's main ally in his war against an armed opposition, now in its seventh year.

Despite the fact the Syrian government has regained control of most of the territory and the war is now confined to specific areas, internal displacement continues to be massive, according to the UN.

"We can not see a military solution, it can not take place", he said. "Our worry is that with the Idlib situation we may have not (yet) seen the worst in Syria".

Idlib, which remains under opposition control, was designated as a "de-escalation zone" in which acts of aggression are expressly forbidden in May of previous year.

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The attack was led by the forces of President Assad.

"The past seven years of war in Syria have shown that violence only fuels more violence, hatred and vengeance - and further fragmentation of a society torn apart".

Referring to Turkey, Russia and Iran, which have held peace talks, he said: "This is a de-escalation area, we hope the Astana guarantors, everybody will do everything to ensure a calming down of situation".

The situation inside Syria's Idlib threatens to become "highly explosive" amid an uptick in the conflict between armed groups and a spike in the number of people displaced inside the war-torn country, a top United Nations aid official said on Monday. 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 neighboring countries, according to United Nations figures.

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"We are on high alert", he said.

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