Turkey | Syria: Recent Developments in North-western Syria (as of 16 January 2018)

Highlights

• Hostilities between Government of Syria forces and non-state armed groups continued unabated in many areas in southern rural Idleb, northern rural Hama and southern rural Aleppo.

• Civilian displacement continues as hostilities intensify. The Cluster has tracked a total of 212,140 displacements (some may be secondary displacements) since December 15th, 2017 to date. At sub-district level, the six highest receiving sub-districts are; Dana (58,338 arrivals), Ma’arrat An Nu’man (18,801), Saraqab (14,127), Idleb (12,883), Ariha (12,878) and Kafr Nobol (10,255). Displacement to Government of Syria held areas in Hama Governorate was also reported.

• Attacks on civilian infrastructure continued with reported attacks on health facilities and personnel, schools, and civil defense centers.

Situation Overview

As of 15 January, hostilities between Government of Syria (GoS) forces and non-state armed groups (NSAGs) continued in southern rural Idleb, northern rural Hama and southern rural Aleppo. Hostilities in southern rural Aleppo intensified significantly since 13 January. Parts of the contested areas in southern rural Idleb, southern rural Aleppo and northern rural Hama are reportedly empty of civilians. The areas that have been taken recently by GoS forces remain inaccessible for humanitarians due to the ongoing hostilities.

As a result of the ongoing hostilities, several incidents affecting civilians and civilian infrastructure were reported. The Health Cluster reported that an INGO-supported primary health (PHC) care facility in Heish sub-district in Idleb Governorate was impacted by an airstrike on 05 January. The attack resulted in structural damage rendering the facility out-of-service. On a monthly basis, the PHC provided an average of 5,700 consultations and 27 deliveries.
On 07 January, a Syrian NGO-supported PHC in Abul Thohur sub-district in Idleb Governorate was reportedly impacted by an airstrike, resulting in structural damage. On a monthly basis, the PHC provided 4,600 consultations.
On 07 January, a Syrian NGO-supported specialized healthcare facility in Idleb sub-district in Idleb Governorate was reportedly impacted by an explosion, which resulted in structural damages. Initial reports indicate that a doctor was injured. The facility is out-of-service. On 08 January, a doctor working for a Syrian NGO was killed in Ma’arrat An Nu’man sub-district in Idleb Governorate after an airstrike struck his home. As per initial reports, the doctor’s wife, mother, son and mother in law were also killed; while his sister and four of his children were wounded. On 08 January, a Syrian NGO-supported surgical hospital in Kafr Zeita sub-district in Hama Governorate was reportedly impacted by an airstrike for the third time since the recent intensification of hostilities. The facility is out-of-service. On a monthly-basis, that hospital provided an average of 929 consultations, 78 admissions, 36 major surgeries and 35 war related trauma cases.

On 11 January, local sources in Idleb Governorate reported that airstrikes on Khan Shaykun town resulted in the death of a woman and her child. Furthermore, airstrikes on Ma’arrat An Nu’man town reportedly wounded the Syrian Interim Government’s Health Minister, killed his driver and destroyed an ambulance belonging to one of the town’s hospitals. In Saraqab town, local media sources reported that airstrikes resulted in the death of one person and caused material damage to the civil defense center in the town.

On 12 January, local sources in Idleb Governorate reported the death of nine people, including five children and three women, and the wounding of 10 people after several airstrikes struck Khan Elsobol town in the south-eastern part of the governorate. On the same day, airstrikes on Hbit town reportedly damaged a mosque during Friday prayers, wounding three people. Education Cluster partners reported that two schools in the town were damaged, as a result of these airstrikes. On the 13 January, local media sources reported that airstrikes on Khan Elsobol town caused minor damages to a school. Airstrikes on Sarja village near Ariha town reportedly damaged the village’s civil defense center and destroyed one of its vehicles. Also near Ariha town, airstrikes on Shannan village reportedly destroyed the village’s civil defense center, wounding one of its workers and destroying some vehicles. Airstrikes on Kafr Battikh village near Saraqab town reportedly resulted in the death of three people, including one child.

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