Syria Crisis: North East Syria Situation Report No. 12 (1-14 July 2017)

Report
from UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Published on 14 Jul 2017

Highlights

  • Displacements from and within Ar-Raqqa Governorate continued due to heavy fighting and airstrikes. An estimated 202,702 people have been displaced since 1 April, including 32,510 since 1 June.

  • As of 11 July, estimates indicate that between 20,000 and 50,000 people remain inside Raqqa city.

  • As of 11 July, Ar-Raqqa city is militarily surrounded by the Syria Democratic Forces (SDF). Unverified reports, state that between 20 and 30 per cent of Raqqa city has been taken over by SDF forces.

  • IDPs from Deir Ez-Zor continue to arrive in Hasakeh with an estimated 3,500-4,000 people now in the Bahra site.

  • The overall protection situation for civilians remains of high concern. Civilians remain trapped by fighting in urban areas, with ISIL reportedly placing heavy restrictions on civilians attempting to flee the area.

1,562 people displaced from 1 – 5 July (202,702 during 1 April – 5 July)

106,921 people reached with food assistance from 1 - 13 July

Over 480m3 Of water being provided in various IDP sides on a daily basis.

700 NFI kits distributed for over 700 families across various IDP sites during the reporting period

Situation Overview

Ar-Raqqa Governorate Since the offensive began in Ar-Raqqa city last month, heavy clashes, shelling, and airstrikes have resulted in significant civilian casualties and injuries, particularly in the old city and the south-west part of the city. Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) continue to capture neighborhoods in Ar-Raqqa city from ISIL-forces during the reporting period, with advances made along the eastern side of Ar-Raqqa city. Unverified reports indicate that the SDF entered neighborhoods of the old city of Ar-Raqqa city as of 8 July. As of 14 July, unverified reports indicate that between 20 and 30 per cent of Raqqa city has been taken over by SDF forces.

On 6 July, REACH published the second rapid assessment to monitor the humanitarian situation in Ar-Raqqa city. Key findings include:

  • Over the past two weeks, there has been further significant outflow of people from all neighborhoods.

  • It is estimated that 20,000-50,000 people remain which is less than half the population of two weeks ago although estimates are difficult to be verified due to the security situation on the ground

  • It is estimated that 40% of the remaining population might leave in the next two weeks

  • Access to water (for all purposes including drinking) is now a major issue for the majority of the remaining population. The water network is no longer reported to be functioning.

  • Access to food has further decreased due to declining food stocks and the conflict blocking supply routes into the city. Markets and stores, as well as reliance on previously stored food, remain a common source of food due to a lack of alternatives.

  • Protection incidents remain prevalent across Ar-Raqqa city, as does the risk of being caught in direct conflict.
    The situation for women and children is particularly severe: women face difficulties moving around the city alone and children are at particular risk from improvised explosive devices (IEDs), landmines and targeted recruitment by armed groups.

  • Health facilities and services are still extremely limited, with no facilities in most areas and only emergency care and first aid available elsewhere.

Although the SDF’s advance into Ar-Raqqa city has been relatively quick, heavy clashes and continued airstrikes are likely in the coming period as they advance on remaining ISIL-held neighborhoods. As a result, further civilian casualties are likely, especially as ISIL is allegedly using civilians as human shields, and with civilian movement out of the city remaining extremely difficult due to the presence of mines and other unexploded ordnance, as well as shelling and sniping activities and airstrikes. Currently, civilians can only leave the encircled city via unofficial roads located in the east and the west of the city at great personal risk and cost, while the escape road via the river has been severed

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:

To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit http://unocha.org/.