Throughout December, escalating conflict in Syria and Iraq, coupled with worsening winter conditions saw thousands of people newly displaced and increasingly vulnerable. With at least 6,000 Iraqis fleeing to Syria from escalating conflict in Mosul and more than 40,000 newly internally displaced from this conflict, temperatures as cold as -5 degrees Celsius and winter conditions throughout the region are posing additional challenges for those displaced. The cold weather has also affected some 85,000 Syrians trapped at the berm outside Syria’s border with Jordan, as well as the estimated 41% of refugees and other migrants in Lebanon who live in substandard housing. Two Syrian refugees reportedly lost their lives trying to cross into Lebanon though snowy mountain passes in December. Between 24 November and 30 December some 110,000 people have been displaced from Eastern Aleppo, bringing the total number of IDPs in Syria to more than 6.3 million. Thousands of Syrians are attempting to flee this conflict by entering Turkey, though borders remain essentially closed. Turkish Land Forces apprehended more than 26,000 people trying to cross from Syria into Turkey by land, a significant number, though less than in recent months. Some 2,400 refugees and other migrants were also apprehended by Turkish authorities trying to exit the country via the Evros river at Turkey’s land border with Greece.
The following sections of this report describe monthly developments related to mixed migration by country, including reported arrivals, departures, internal displacement relevant to cross-border movement, and discussion of relevant policy changes.