Syrian Arab Republic: Idleb Situation Report No. 3 (15-22 April 2015)

Situation Report
Originally published



  • Ishan hospital in Saraqab was damaged during an airstrike on 18 April, rendering it non-functional.

  • The SARC Idleb facilities at Carlton Hotel in Idleb city were extensively damaged in an airstrike on 17 April, with key assets, including nine SARC ambulances and vehicles damaged or destroyed. No SARC personnel were injured.

  • Non-state armed groups announced on 22 April the launch of new military campaigns along the route connecting Idleb city to Hama.

Situation Overview

Non-state armed groups (NSAGs) announced on 22 April the launch of new military campaigns along the route connecting Idleb city to Hama, including targeting of Jisr-Ash-Shugur, Al-Qarmid factory in rural Idleb and rural Hama. As a result, movement of civilians and commercial vehicles on the road linking Jisr-Ash-Shugur with Al Ghab and Lattakia was restricted. If restrictions continue, there may be implications for the supplies and prices of commodities.

Intense fighting, shelling and aerial bombardment reportedly continue on Idleb city and surrounding areas. Towns and villages in close proximity to the east and north of the city, such as Ma’arrat An Nu’man, Saraqab and Sarmin, have reportedly been badly affected by airstrikes, with many civilian casualties reported, including women and children.

The prevailing security situation has created large displacement from Idleb city to rural areas. Many people are displaced for a second or third time, often further away from Idleb city and environs. At least 101,800 people have been displaced as a result of the fighting in the last three weeks, including over 20,0001 to Government-controlled areas and almost 81,8002 into areas controlled by NSAGs, with some sources reporting higher figures.3 Camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Atmeh and Qah have seen increased arrivals over the past week, and 1,160 IDPs from Idleb city have arrived in Saida Zainab, Rural Damascus. Many of the IDPs in Saida Zainab have arrived from locations in Hama, Lattakia and Tartous, to where they were initially displaced.

Physical safety and security concerns may present a serious challenge to any future IDP movement. The Hama highway has reportedly been heavily shelled near Ziyara, making the route very dangerous for civilian movement.

The damage and destruction of civilian infrastructure, including apparent targeting of it, remains a severe concern and a violation of International Humanitarian Law. During the past week alone, Ishan hospital in Saraqab was damaged, a bakery operated by a humanitarian agency was destroyed and an employee killed during airstrikes. On 19 April two person-borne improvised explosive devices (PBIEDs) exploded at a school in Ariha which reportedly is not being used for education or shelter purposes.

Risks for humanitarian workers continue. The Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) main branch offices in the Carlton hotel in Idleb city were severely damaged by an airstrike on 17 April. No SARC personnel were injured but critical assets, including nine vehicles and ambulances, 6,000 liters of gasoline, several generators and water equipment, were destroyed or damaged.

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