Intensified SARG aerial and artillery attacks in Eastern Ghouta result in more than 200 civilian deaths
Health organizations stress urgent need for improved medical resources amid deteriorating humanitarian conditions
Explosive hazard contamination in Ar Raqqah causes multiple returnee casualties
Despite insecurity, interagency convoys reach conflict-affected populations
Since mid-November, Syrian Arab Republic Government (SARG) attacks have killed at least 200 civilians and exacerbated dire humanitarian conditions in the SARG-besieged Eastern Ghouta region of Rif Damascus Governorate, international media report. Relief agencies operating in the region have highlighted the urgent need for emergency medical evacuations, and report that Eastern Ghouta residents are resorting to extreme negative coping mechanisms, including skipping meals, eating expired food, begging, or consuming animal fodder and refuse, as a result of deteriorating food security conditions. Despite access and security challenges, three humanitarian convoys reached Eastern Ghouta—one of the four de-escalation zones established in August by the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Government of Turkey (GoT), and the Government of the Russian Federation—in October and November with emergency relief commodities and food assistance for approximately 68,300 conflict-affected people, or more than 17 percent of the region’s total estimated population.
Explosive hazard contamination in Ar Raqqah Governorate’s capital city of Ar Raqqah continues to pose significant risk to individuals voluntarily returning to the area, humanitarian organizations report. Médecins Sans Frontières staff working in hospitals located near Ar Raqqah report having treated more than 100 patients with blast injuries since fighting subsided in mid-October, and the UN has recorded at least 200 civilian casualties due to improvised explosive devices. According to the UN, an estimated 34,000 people have returned to areas near or in the city since Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) recaptured Ar Raqqah from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria on October 20.