Syria ǀ Flash Update #5, Humanitarian impact of the military operation in north-eastern Syria, 14 October 2019 [EN/AR]

Highlights

  • The security situation in north-eastern Syria remains highly volatile and airstrikes and ground attacks continued to be reported in multiple locations as the military operation entered its sixth day.

  • The United States announced the planned withdrawal of its troops from northeast Syria on 13 October. The announcement of an agreement between the Kurdish Self-Administration and the Government of Syria followed shortly after.

  • Due to the fluid security situation, international INGO staff working cross-border in the region are relocating.

  • At least 160,000 people are reported to have been displaced following the start of military operations. There are unconfirmed reports of thousands of people on the move as a result of continuing advances of different forces in many areas.

  • Grave concerns remain for camp residents at Ein Issa displacement camp as hostilities and shelling in the vicinity of the camp has continued. The camp is now at a cross-road between three different forces. About 15 families remain at the Mabruka IDP camp, which was evacuated due to insecurity. The United Nations continues to advocate for the protection of all IDP camps and guarantees of safe and unhindered passage for those staying behind and for humanitarian actors to reach them with assistance.

  • On 14 October, a technical mission composed of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) and members of the AlHasakeh electrical and water departments reached Allouk water station to restore water to some 400,000 people.
    The team found interim solutions but identified further damages to the system and will need to return to ensure the Allouk water station is operational.

  • Humanitarian partners continue to provide life-saving assistance in existing displacement camps (except Mabruka due to insecurity) and the most populated camps such as Areesheh and Al Hol. Efforts are also underway to assist displaced people in the new collective shelters established in Al-Hasakeh, Tal Tamer and Ar-Raqqa.

  • As parts of the M4 highway are being cut off, the United Nations and its partners are exploring different options to keep the supply line of humanitarian goods open.

  • The United Nations and its partners remain concerned about the humanitarian situation in northeast Syria as many of those affected by the on-going hostilities have already experienced immense physical and mental stress as a result of almost nine years of conflict and repeated displacement.

Situation overview

As of 14 October, airstrikes, heavy artillery and ground incursions continued in multiple locations as the military operation in northeast Syria entered its sixth day. On 13 October, Turkish Armed Forces reportedly gained control over Tell Abiad city and fighting continued in Ras al-Ain city, north and northeast of both Ar-Raqqa city and Ein Issa town. Latest reports received on 14 October indicate the fighting is moving closer to Tal Tamr where some 3,600 displaced families have reportedly arrived and are hosted at both collective shelters and with host communities. Parts of the M4 highway are now reportedly under Turkish control. Explosions and shelling in Quamishli city appear to have ceased on 14 October further to numerous incidents reported over the previous days.

On 13 October, some 5,000 people were reportedly displaced from Ein Issa town towards both the southern rural areas of Ein Issa and Ar-Raqqa city as a result of these developments. Several hundred families also reportedly left Menbij in anticipation of hostilities in the area. As the military movements in and around Menbij area intensified on 14 October, local sources have reported that the crossing into northern Aleppo countryside has been closed for civilians.

On both sides of the border, reports and media continue to report civilian injuries and deaths as a result of shelling across the border.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.