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19 Sep 2013 description

As the ICRC Water and Habitat Unit celebrates its 30th anniversary, we look back at some of the ICRCs most significant water, sanitation and shelter operations over the last three decades.

In 1859, four years before the ICRC was formed, our founder Henry Dunant made water one of his priorities as he struggled to help wounded soldiers after the Battle of Solferino. Thirty years ago, our awareness of the essential role of water, sanitation and habitat for the victims of conflict led us to create the Water and Habitat Unit, known as "WatHab."

02 Sep 2013 description

In Syria, intensive fighting continued in Aleppo, Ar-Raqqa, Rural Damascus and Homs. Intensive clashes which ignited at the start of the month between Government and opposition groups in the governorate of Lattakia appeared however to have ceased. At the start of the week, the US warned that a military strike against Syria was imminent, following the alleged use of chemical weapons near Damascus on 21 August. By the end of the week, President Obama indicated that he would seek congressional approval of the Congress before undertaking such an action.

26 Aug 2013 description

In Syria, fighting continued in Aleppo, Al-Hasakeh, Dar’a, Damascus, Deir-ez-Zor, Hama, Homs, Idleb, Rural Damascus and Quneitra. A large-scale chemical weapons attack in Ghouta killed hundreds of people, according to opposition groups that blamed the Government on 21 August. After some delay, Damascus allowed UN inspectors to visit the site of the alleged chemical attack while denying being behind the assault. Meanwhile, over 1.9 million Syrians have been registered with UNHCR or are awaiting registration in neighboring countries.

19 Aug 2013 description

Snapshot 12 – 19 August

In Syria, fighting between governmental forces and opposition groups has been concentrated in Aleppo, Deir-ez-Zor, Homs, Lattakia and Rural Damascus this week. Meanwhile, infighting is ongoing within the opposition. As during previous weeks, FSA forces have clashed with Islamist opposition groups on multiple occasions while Kurdish groups continued to fight with Islamist groups in the north of the country. The mass influx of Syrian refugees to neighbouring countries is ongoing. As of 19 August, over 1.9 million Syrians had fled the country.

12 Aug 2013 description

In Syria, large-scale fighting between opposition and Government forces has been reported across Al-Hassakeh, Ar-Raqqa, Homs, Aleppo, and especially Lattakia and Damascus governorates. Increasing strife between combatants of the FSA and al-Qaeda affiliated Islamic fighters continue to also be reported, especially around Aleppo and its countryside. In addition, as clashes increased between Kurdish armed groups and fighters of the ISIS, the President of Iraqi Kurdistan openly floated the idea of staging an intervention in Syria to support fellow Kurds.

05 Aug 2013 description

In Syria, Government forces are advancing in Homs and expected to retake opposition-held districts in the short-term, while operations have been ongoing in other major cities, including Aleppo and Damascus. Meanwhile, infighting within opposition forces is spreading between various armed groups. Clashes are continuously reported between Kurdish fighters and al-Qaeda affiliated Islamists near the border with Turkey in Al-Hassakeh and Ar-Raqqa governorates.

22 Jul 2013 description

In Syria, despite the start of the Holy Month of Ramadan on 9 July, large-scale operations have been ongoing in several major cities, including Damascus, Homs, Aleppo, and Idlib with regime forces pushing to extend the gains obtained over the past weeks with support of the Lebanese Hezbollah fighters. Infighting within opposition forces has escalated in recent days with clashes reported between various Islamist and more moderate groups, notably between Kurdish fighters and al-Qaeda affiliated Islamists near the border with Turkey in Al-Hassakeh governorate.

15 Jul 2013 description

In Syria, the regime’s offensive on Homs governorate and city is on-going with artillery and air strikes, displacing 400,000 and leaving an estimated 2,500 and 4,000 civilians trapped in and around the city. Some 2 million people in Government-controlled areas in Aleppo are affected by a siege of opposition forces that is blocking food and medicines from entering several areas. While the UN and the Red Cross have called for a truce during the month of Ramadan, the cease-fire was rejected by the Government.

08 Jul 2013 description

In Syria, the regime’s offensive on Homs governorate and city is on-going with artillery and air strikes being reported. An estimated, 2,500 and 4,000 civilians are allegedly trapped in and around the city. Meanwhile, the number of Syrian refugees in neighboring countries continues to increase and is now approaching 1.75 million people according to UNHCR.

10 Jun 2013 description

In Syria, the Syrian Government forces captured Qusayr, a strategic city in Homs province connecting the capital to the Mediterranean coast. Forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad were reported to have killed at least 100 people who fled the town of Qusayr after it was captured by army troops on 9 June. The UN and the ICRC have requested humanitarian access to Qusayr, but this request was turned down by the Syrian Government despite winning assurances of access earlier in the week.

03 Jun 2013 description

Snapshot 27 May – 03 June

In Syria, the government military continued its offensive on opposition-controlled Qusayr, a strategic city in Homs province connecting the capital to the Mediterranean coast. Humanitarian agencies expressed alarm over the fate of thousands of civilians still trapped in the city. The UN estimates that over 6.8 million people are in need of humanitarian aid in Syria. While an estimated 5 million people are internally displaced, the number of Syrians registered or awaiting registration in host countries has surpassed 1.6 million.

16 May 2013 description

Food security levels are generally better than a year earlier in East Africa and the Sahel, with most areas facing either IPC phase 1 ‘minimal’ or phase 2 ‘stressed’ conditions, thanks to favorable agro-climatic conditions in 2012.

06 May 2013 description

In Syria, fighting between the Government and opposition groups continued in all governorates apart from Tartous and As-Sweida. Following a large scale offensive by the Government initiated on 26 April, heavy fighting has been reported in and around Damascus. Clashes in Eastern Ghouta forced the closure of Damascus international airport. Approximately 6.8 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance in the country while some 4.25 million people are displaced and over 1.4 million people have fled into neighbouring countries.