Syria: Flash update on recent events - 12 July 2017

Report
from UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Published on 12 Jul 2017

This update provides a summary of recent displacement, along with developments from the UNHCR co-led Sector/Clusters of Protection, Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) and Shelter/Non Food Items (SNFI).

KEY DISPLACEMENT STATISTICS (AS OF 04 JULY 2017)

  • 950,502 displacements recorded by the CCCM Cluster in the last 12 months from affected areas of northern and southern Syria

  • 911,620 displacements from affected areas of northern Syria, including Aleppo (375,770), Ar-Raqqa (235,811), Hama (151,982), Idleb (99,293), Homs (32,441), Deir-Ez-Zor (9,482), Al-Hassakeh (5,500), Lattakia (1,341) governorates, northern Syria. This includes around 41,200 new displacements recorded in June 2017 alone, with the large majority from Ar-Raqqa Governorate (nearly 25,000).

  • 38,882 displacements from affected areas of Damascus, Rural Damascus, Sweida and Dar’a, southwestern Syria. This includes around 14,300 new displacements recorded in June 2017 alone, with the large majority from Damascus (11,000).

CONTEXTUAL DEVELOPMENTS

  • On 10 July, representatives of the Syrian Government and opposition convened in Geneva for a seventh round of United Nations-sponsored peace talks.

  • The United States, Russia and Jordan agreed to a ceasefire across south-western Syria, which took effect on 9 July at 12:00 hrs local time. The agreement was announced after US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin met on the margins of the G20 Summit in Hamburg. On 10 July, the UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura commented that the agreement seemed to be broadly holding.

  • In a statement issued on 10 July, the UN Secretary-General welcomed the announcement of the ceasefire in south-western Syria. The statement notes that this is a significant step towards reducing violence and increasing humanitarian access across Syria, in line with the pursuit of the goal of a comprehensive, nationwide ceasefire. The Secretary-General’s statement also urges “all countries to preserve the right for all Syrians to seek asylum and enjoy refugee protection until conditions are conducive for return in safety and dignity.”

  • Heavy fighting continues in Ar-Raqqa city, and the UN reiterated its deep concern for the safety and protection of thousands of civilians trapped inside Ar-Raqqa. As fighting intensifies, airstrikes are reportedly resulting in death and injury of civilians and hindering civilian movement out of the city. The UN estimates that between 30,000 and 50,000 people remain trapped in Raqqa city – although certainty over numbers is difficult given the lack of access.

  • Airstrikes targeting extremist groups near Deir-Ez-Zor city have reportedly caused many local residents to flee towards rural Al-Hassakeh Governorate, with some families going to IDP sites located in the vicinity of Basel Dam.