UNRWA Syria crisis situation update Issue 38, 16 March 2013
The unrelenting conflict in Syria continues to exact a heavy toll on civilians – Palestine refugees and Syrians alike. Armed clashes continue throughout Syria, particularly in Rif Damascus Governorate, Aleppo, Dera’a and Homs. With external flight options restricted, Palestine refugees in Syria remain a particularly vulnerable group who are increasingly unable to cope with the socio-economic and security challenges in Syria. As the armed conflict has progressively escalated since the launch of UNRWA’s Syria Crisis Response 2013, the number of Palestine refugees in Syria in need of humanitarian assistance has risen to over 400,000 individuals. The number of Palestine refugees from Syria who have fled to Jordan has reached 4,695 individuals and approximately 32,000 refugees are in Lebanon.
Hostilities around Damascus claimed the lives of at least 25 Palestine refugees during the reporting period, including an UNRWA teacher from Khan Esheih camp. UNRWA is gravely concerned by what appears to be a trend of increasing Palestine refugee deaths and injuries in the Syria conflict. (link to the statement)
Conflict continues throughout most of the country, including around eastern and southern Damascus/Rif Damascus Governorate, with clashes and shelling spilling into several camps, namely Yarmouk, Sbeineh, Seyeda Zaynab and Husseiniyah.
Clashes and shelling around Khan Esheih camp increased significantly, extending into the camp on several occasions with reports that some refugees have started to flee the camp.
Homs has seen renewed hostilities, especially around Bab Amr, raising concerns over the adjacent camp, which remains relatively calm.
Intensive fighting also continues around Aleppo airport, next to Neirab camp.
Further to the south, hostilities intensified around Dera'a, reportedly preventing access to the border with Jordan.