1. The present report is the thirty-ninth submitted pursuant to paragraph 17 of Security Council resolution 2139 (2014), paragraph 10 of resolution 2165 (2014), paragraph 5 of resolution 2191 (2014), paragraph 5 of resolution 2258 (2015) and paragraph 5 of resolution 2332 (2016), in which the Council requested the Secretary-General to report, every 30 days, on the implementation of the resolutions by all parties to the conflict in the Syrian Arab Republic.
2. The information contained herein is based on the data available to United Nations agencies on the ground and from the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic and other Syrian and open sources. Data from United Nations agencies on their humanitarian deliveries have been reported for the period from 1 to 30 April 2017.
Key points in April 2017
(1) Notwithstanding the ceasefire declared as at 30 December 2016, fighting in multiple areas resulted in continued civilian deaths and injury and the destruction of civilian infrastructure.
(2) The United Nations estimates that, as of the end of April, some 624,500 people were living under siege in the Syrian Arab Republic, the overwhelming majority of sieges being imposed by Government forces and their allies (82 per cent) and by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Dayr al-Zawr (15 per cent). Furthermore, the United Nations estimates that some 3.9 million people are in hard-to-reach areas. These numbers are subject to change, given the ongoing evacuation processes in some areas.
(3) On 4 April, there were reports of a chemical weapons attack, in the Khan Shaykhun area of southern Idlib, that killed 90 people and injured 200. In response, on 7 April, the United States of America fired 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at the Sha‘irat military airbase in rural Homs, asserting that the airbase was used to launch the reported chemical weapons strike on Khan Shaykhun.
(4) After reaching a local agreement on 27 March regarding the four towns of Madaya and Zabadani, in Rif Dimashq, and Fu‘ah and Kafraya, in Idlib, simultaneous evacuations began on 15 April. While buses of evacuees waited for hours on either side of the checkpoint in Rashidin while parties addressed disagreements regarding the exchange, a car bomb struck the convoy originating in Fu‘ah and Kafraya, killing at least 125 people and injuring 413. No party or group has claimed responsibility for this terrorist attack. Emergency medical care was swiftly provided by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the Syrian Arab Republic and from Turkey, as well as by the Syrian Arab Red Crescent.
(5) The Brussels conference on the Syrian Arab Republic and the region successfully concluded on 5 April, with strong expressions of international commitment to continue to respond to the Syrian conflict.
(6) From 19 April, displacement in Raqqah governorate reportedly increased significantly, as non-State armed groups advanced to within 20 kilometres of ISIL-held Raqqah city. A total of 66,275 people were displaced in April, including approximately 39,000 people who were displaced to the Jubb al-Sha‘ir area on 24 April.
(7) The United Nations and health partners received credible reports of 30 attacks that affected medical facilities and personnel throughout the month of April. The United Nations received credible information of two attacks against education facilities and related protected personnel.