Syria: Flash update on recent events - 01 March 2017

Report
from UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Published on 01 Mar 2017

This update provides a summary of recent displacement, along with developments from the UNHCR co-led Sector/Clusters of Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM), Shelter/Non Food Items (SNFI) and Protection.

CCCM CLUSTER KEY DISPLACEMENT STATISTICS (AS OF 14 FEBRUARY 2017)

 625,175 displacements recorded since 1 February 2016 from affected areas of northern and southern Syria:

o 603,226 displacements from affected areas of northern Syria, including Aleppo (400,105), Hama (94,301), Idleb (76,838), Ar-Raqqa (22,960), Homs (7,982), Al-Hassakeh (5,098), Deir-Ez-Zor (2,616), Lattakia (1,308) governorates, northern Syria. This includes 68,085 new displacements recorded in February alone, with the majority from Aleppo Governorate.

o 13,967 displacements from affected areas of Damascus and Rural Damascus, south-western Syria. This includes 2,787 new displacements recorded in February alone.

CONTEXTUAL DEVELOPMENTS

 Raqqa city is almost completely encircled by the Syrian Democratic Forces as the road between Deir Ezzour and Raqqa city is almost under the area of influence of armed groups. According to sources of humanitarian actors on the ground quoting local residents, extremists have forced all the people who have shops and houses to put sand bags in front of their shops indicating the possibility that they may be preparing to hold their position.

 Parties attending the Geneva Talks have not accepted to conduct negotiations face-to-face. After the opening ceremony, the parties left the room in a move that has forced Special Envoy de Mistura to revert to shuttling between the rival camps in so-called proximity talks, as he did at the last round of negotiations 10 months ago.
In a recent statement, de Mistura made clear from the talks' outset that lack of trust is the main obstacle to progress of the talks.

 Media reports on an armed opposition group declaration from 28 February that it will continue to conduct operations against regime forces southeast of their positions in Al Bab following their advances south of the city the day before. As the group is part of the operation Euphrates Shield, the situation is currently blocking their advancement towards extremist held Raqqa, which was identified as a major goal of its operation.