The present report is the forty-eighth 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), paragraph 5 of resolution 2332 (2016) and paragraph 6 of resolution 2393 (2017), 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.
The information contained herein is based on data available to agencies of the United Nations system and from the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic and other relevant sources. Data from agencies of the United Nations system on their humanitarian deliveries have been reported for the period from 1 to 31 January 2018.
II. Major developments
Key points: January 2018
During the reporting period, military activity in parts of the country had a significant impact on the civilian population, resulting in deaths, injuries and displacement, causing damage to civilian infrastructure, such as hospitals and schools, and affecting the ability of United Nations agencies and their partners to deliver life-saving humanitarian assistance.
In besieged eastern Ghutah, in Rif Dimashq, near daily shelling of several areas, particularly in the eastern areas of the enclave, and in Duma and Nashabiyah, resulted in civilian deaths and injuries, internal displacement within the besieged area and destruction of civilian infrastructure. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) reported 124 deaths during the month of January in eastern Ghutah. Shelling was also reported from eastern Ghutah into Damascus; OHCHR reported that 11 people had been killed in Damascus from the shelling during the month (see annex for a full list of casualties reported by OHCHR for January).
Intense fighting continued in Idlib, northern Hama and southern Aleppo Governorates, resulting in civilian deaths and injuries and the destruction of civilian infrastructure, as well as large-scale displacement. From 15 December 2017 through 29 January 2018, the displacement of more than 300,000 people was recorded, with those displaced moving to the central and northern parts of Idlib Governorate. Medical facilities were particularly hard hit in Idlib, with 14 attacks against medical facilities verified by the health cluster during the month.
Some 66,000 civilians were reported to have returned to Raqqah city since October 2017. The widespread presence of explosive hazards, including unexploded ordnance, landmines and improvised explosive devices, throughout the city continues to pose a significant risk to civilians, as well as to humanitarian workers. According to partners on the ground, more than 500 civilians have died or have been injured since the city was retaken from Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant in October 2017.
The United Nations in Jordan undertook a one-time aid operation on an exceptional basis from 8 to 12 January, delivering emergency life -saving assistance, including food and non-food items, to 50,000 people stranded at Rukban camp along the border between Jordan and the Syrian Arab Republic.
In January, United Nations humanitarian assistance reached millions of people in need in the Syrian Arab Republic, including nearly 2 million people who received food assistance through regular deliveries. Access to besieged areas continued to be a challenge, with no convoys to any besieged area for the second month in a row.