Snapshot 16-23 September
In Syria, heavy fighting continues, with air-strikes on opposition controlled areas in Damascus and on-going offensives in Aleppo, Rural Damascus, Idleb, Homs and Al-Hasakeh. This week, a series of clashes between extremist groups and battalions of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) took pace in several northern and eastern provinces, illustrating increasing friction between the different armed groups. On 18 September, ISIS seized the town of Azaz in Aleppo on the border with Turkey in the most violent clashes between extremists and mainstream units of the FSA since ISIS publically announced its operations in Syria in May.
Monsoon rains worsened by Typhoon Usagi, locally known as Odette, pounded the Philippines for three consecutive days, causing floods and landslides that left 48,000 people affected and six people dead. Typhoon Usagi, reportedly the most powerful storm to hit the country this year, has moved north toward China on 23 September, but continues to exacerbate monsoon rains. In addition, the country is still struggling to resolve fighting in Zmboanga city, which has displaced up to 129,000 people since it began on 9 September.
Mexico’s Gulf and Pacific coast has been hit by two tropical storms, which damaged 1.5 million homes in 22 out of 32 states, flooded cities and washed out roads. Preliminary numbers estimate that 1.2 million people have been affected of which 200,000 in the state of Guerrero.
On 21 September, a group of heavily armed Al-Shabaab fighters attacked a shopping centre in the Kenyan capital Nairobi and were still holding 30 people hostage as the government forces launched a final assault on 23 September. So far, 175 people were wounded and the death toll is estimated at 62 but is expected to go up following the multiple firefights which have been taking place over the last three days.
According to the 2013 Vulnerability Assessment Committee’s (MVAC) evaluation, which was released on 19 September some 1.46 million people in Malawi are food insecure. While this figure represents a drop of about 26% from the 1.97 million recorded in 2012, it is 57% above the five-year average.
Last Updated: 23/09/2013 Next Update: 30/09/2013