37,000 Syrian children were forced to flee as violence hits children the hardest

Orient Net 2020-02-01 12:26:00

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A children's advocacy group warned Friday (January 31) that half of nearly 400,000 displaced people in the Assad regime’s two-month-long offensive on the country's last opposition-held region are children, calling it a wave of displacement unlike anything seen before in the war in Syria.

The offensive by Assad regime militias, backed by ally Russia, has focused mainly on Idlib province in the northwest, and also lately on neighboring Aleppo. 

The United Nations has estimated that 390,000 Syrians have been displaced over the past two months - 315,000 in December and 75,000 in January.

According to advocacy group Save the Children, half of those displaced are children, adding that at least 37,000 children were forced to flee in the month of January.

During a one-week period in mid- January, 34 children and 13 women were killed, the UN said.

Trucks and other vehicles have crammed the roads as civilians - some of them already displaced by earlier fighting - packed up their meager belongings to leave towns and villages under attack.

Save the Children said its advocacy partners working in Idlib and Aleppo described miles of convoys and said "the sheer scale of displacement is unlike anything they have seen before."

Joelle Bassoul, spokesperson for Save the Children, said the displacement is "more desperate for sure because that northern border is the edge. Beyond it there is nowhere to go.

"Most people are packing and knowing there is no going back to towns and villages that are being bombed out," she said.

On Wednesday midnight Russian warplanes bombed al-Shami Hospital, a bakery and civilian homes in the city of Ariha in Idlib countryside, killing 12 civilians, including four children and six women and injuring 68 others, including 13 children and 15 women.

Assad-Russian warplanes have committed dozens of massacres in Idlib and Hama countryside since they launched their bombing campaign on the 30th of April, largely violating the de-escalation zone deal reached between Russia and Turkey.

Based on AP