The present report is the fifty-fifth 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), paragraph 6 of resolution 2393 (2017) and paragraph 12 of resolution 2401 (2018), in which the Council requested the SecretaryGeneral 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 August 2018.
II. Major developments
Key points: August 2018
Concern around the prospect of military operations in the Idlib de-escalation area grew significantly during the reporting period, with airstrikes and explosions in Idlib and Aleppo Governorates between 10 and 12 August resulting in civilian deaths and injuries. Reports were received of attacks affecting several health facilities, and school activities in a number of areas were suspended.
Humanitarian organizations continued to respond to needs in Idlib and across the north-west of the country, drawing on cross-border assistance channels, while coordinating readiness efforts, including the pre-positioning of aid supplies, in view of the growing threat of large-scale displacement linked to expanded military operations in the area.
In the south-west of the country, the Government consolidated its control over the Dar‘a and Qunaytirah Governorates, as well as the vast majority of Suwayda ’ Governorate. Most of the approximately 325,000 people estimated to have been newly displaced in the area since late June were reported to have returned to their areas of origin. However, as at mid-August, an estimated 60,000 people remained displaced and high levels of humanitarian needs persisted, including among returnees. The United Nations continued to provide humanitarian aid in the area in partnership with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, including through inter-agency convoys to Dar‘a al-Balad on 9 August and Busra al-Sham on 16 August. However, access to many areas remained limited for United Nations humanitarian agencies and their partners.
In eastern Dayr al-Zawr Governorate, fighting between Syrian Democratic Forces and Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) continued to have an impact on civilians, with reports that more than 20,000 people were displaced to makeshift camps between late July and early August. Humanitarian access to many of these sites was very limited, while there were also reports that the majority of the displaced people were prevented from leaving, with exceptions only for some medical cases.
In eastern Ghutah, the return of displaced people and the resumption of commercial activities continued to be reported. However, the freedom of movement of civilians and access to the area for humanitarian organizations remained very limited, hindering efforts to scale up assistance and provide much-needed services, including for returnees. Humanitarian assistance continued to be channelled through the Syrian Arab Red Crescent.
United Nations humanitarian agencies and their partners continued to reach millions of people in need. Humanitarian assistance provided from within the country by United Nations agencies reached more than 2.37 million people with food assistance. Three inter-agency humanitarian convoys carrying life-saving relief, food and medical supplies were deployed in August to the hard-to-reach locations of Irbin and Zamalka in eastern Ghutah and Busra al-Sham and al-Balad in Dar‘a Governorate, reaching a total of 75,000 people in need. In August, the United Nations delivered life-saving food assistance to more than 574,000 people through cross-border deliveries.