Syria

Syria: Flash update on recent events - 21 February 2018

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

KEY DISPLACEMENT STATISTICS (AS OF 13 FEBRUARY 2018)

  • 1,626,029 displacements recorded by the CCCM Cluster in the last 12 months from affected areas of northern and southern Syria:

  • 1,599,526 displacements from affected areas of northern Syria, including Idleb (357,992), Ar-Raqqa (318,761), Aleppo (292,751), Hama (280,132), Deir-Ez-Zor (255,990), Homs (36,067), Al-Hassakeh (13,684), Lattakia (1,546) governorates, northern Syria. This also includes around 42,600 displacements still under verification. Nearly 54,000 displacements have been recorded so far in February 2018, with the large majority from Idleb Governorate.

  • 26,503 displacements from affected areas of Damascus, Rural Damascus, Sweida and Dar’a, southwestern Syria.

CONTEXTUAL DEVELOPMENTS

  • UN Secretary-General António Guterres said in a statement yesterday (20 February) that he was “deeply alarmed” by the escalating violence in eastern Ghouta. He noted that residents in the besieged area are living under extreme conditions, including malnutrition, and over 700 people require immediate medical evacuation. The Secretary-General recalled that eastern Ghouta is part of a de-escalation agreement reached in Astana and reminded all parties of their commitments in this regard. He also noted that there are reports of shelling from eastern Ghouta on Damascus.

  • On 14 February, an inter-agency convoy of the UN and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent delivered life-saving food, nutrition and health assistance to 7,200 people in Nashabieh, eastern Ghouta, the first such convoy in 78 days. On 16 February, a statement attributed to the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Syria welcomed the convoy but added that it was not enough.

  • According to media reports, Syrian Government allied forces entered the Kurdish enclave of Afrin (Aleppo Governorate, near the Turkish border) on 20 February. Fighters were reportedly seen passing through a checkpoint in armoured vehicles. The move provoked an immediate response from Turkish forces who reportedly shelled the area. Turkey had threatened to confront Syrian Government forces if they intervened, raising the prospect of direct conflict between Syria and Turkey.