Escalation in Syria fighting cause for ‘great concern’ says UN chief, dozens more civilians dead or injured

UNICEF/Watad Children and their families living in a makeshift camp in a hard-to-reach area in western rural Aleppo, Syria.

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.


UN chief António Guterres has said that he’s following “with great concern” intensifying clashes in north-western Syria that have claimed yet more civilian lives and displaced thousands in recent days.

The Secretary-General’s comments come amid reports of aerial attacks on population centres and civilian buildings within a demilitarized zone that has been guaranteed since last September by Russia and Turkey, in southern rural Idlib and northern rural Hama.

In a statement, Mr. Guterres was said to be “alarmed” at news that hundreds of civilians had been killed and injured in intensifying fighting between Syrian Government forces supported by their allies and armed opposition forces including ISIL terrorist group-affiliate, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham.

Uphold international law and protect civilians, Guterres tells warring sides

And in a call for all parties to uphold international humanitarian law and protect civilians as the holy month of Ramadan begins, he noted that three health facilities were reportedly hit by airstrikes on 5 May, “bringing the total to at least seven struck since 28 April”.

Echoing his concern, the UN human rights office (OHCHR) in Geneva said that nine schools have also reportedly been hit since 30 April.

“According to information gathered by our office, at least 27 civilians have been killed and 31 injured since 29th of April, although there are other estimates out there which are much higher,” OHCHR spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani said. “These are just the numbers that we have been able to fully verify, and this includes many women and children.”

Civilians increasingly at risk, warns UN human rights office

Noting that “at least 11 hospitals or medical facilities have been hit by airstrikes and ground-based strikes in northern Hama and southern Idlib” in recent days, Ms. Shamdasani warned that the situation for civilians was becoming increasingly precarious.

“Yesterday, on 6 May, Government forces started to advance on the ground and captured villages from non-State armed groups in northern Hama,” she said.

“Additionally, non-State groups carried out counter attacks in Latakia, so the violence is very much escalating.”

Since September last year, at least 323,000 people have been displaced by fighting in Syria’s north-west, according to UN humanitarian coordinating office, OCHA.

Tens of thousands displaced, often repeatedly

“The intensified military offensive has further resulted in the displacement of tens of thousands of people who are repeatedly displaced and have had to move further north towards northern and eastern rural Idlib and northern and western rural Aleppo, seeking safety,” Ms. Shamdasani said.

Across Syria, more than eight years after fighting began that has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives, OCHA believes that 6.2 million people remain internally displaced. Their resources are increasingly depleted and more than eight in 10 individuals live below the poverty line.

Staggering humanitarian needs persist outside the country too, with more than 5.6 million Syrian nationals seeking shelter abroad.

For 2019, the UN and humanitarian partners are calling for $3.33 billion to provide critical life-saving and life-sustaining assistance to 11.7 million Syrians.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Syria’s groundbreaking constitutional talks: ‘a clear success of mediation’ says Guterres in Turkey

10 million Yemenis ‘one step away from famine’, UN food relief agency calls for ‘unhindered access’ to frontline regions

“911, What’s your emergency?”

Nearly a third of the globe is now on Facebook – chart of the day

Climate change is forcing 20 million people a year from their homes, Oxfam says

4 ways Africa can prepare its youth for the digital economy

Germany objects to EU Commission’s plan for a Eurozone bank deposits insurance scheme but Berlin could go along

Alcohol abuse kills three million people a year, most of them men – WHO report

2013, a Political Odyssey: What future for Italy?

This is why mental health should be a political priority

Commission welcomes European Parliament adoption of EU4Health programme

Commission welcomes agreement on the modernisation of EU export controls

7 ways to break the fast fashion habit – and save the planet

ECB again to subsidize euro area banks with more than one trillion euro

Thomas Cook bankruptcy: Better consumer and employee protection needed

MWC 2016 LIVE: Ingenu steps up efforts to build LPWA networks across the globe

Greener tourism: Greater collaboration needed to tackle rising emissions

How digital entrepreneurs will help shape the world after the COVID-19 pandemic

MEPs back plans to promote water reuse for agricultural irrigation

The ECB proposes a swift solution for SMEs’ financing

Working fewer hours makes you more efficient. Here’s the proof

COVID-19: A coordinated EU health strategy needed, say MEPs

‘BioSolar Leaves’ are better at cleaning the air than trees, say the technology’s developers

EU leaders agree to delay Brexit until 31 October

Yemen war ‘a test of our humanity’, and we’re ‘badly failing’ warns UN Children’s Fund chief

German Presidency outlines priorities to EP committees

The refugee crisis seen through the eyes of a young doctor from Turkey

EU, Latin America and the Caribbean: Partnering for prosperity, democracy, resilience and global governance

Collective action to enable sustainable growth will be critical to end tropical deforestation

Adoption of new rules to better protect children caught in cross-border parental disputes

Arrest of three Libyans wanted for grave crimes ‘would send strong and necessary message’ to victims, urges top Prosecutor

State aid: Commission approves around €36 million Romanian rescue aid to state-owned flag carrier TAROM

COVID-19: from the chaos of the pandemic to the difficulties in vaccination

Ecofin: ‘The Friday battle’ for the banking union

Haiti cholera outbreak ‘stopped in its tracks’

The UK option: An overarching alternative for the whole Brexit options

Security Council gravely concerned by Ebola outbreak in DR Congo, demands immediate end to violence hampering response

Here’s how to achieve growth in the Middle East and North Africa

Civil society groups matter for Cambodia’s sustainable development: UN expert

European Institute of Innovation and Technology: Commission welcomes political agreement on strategy for 2021-2027

The von der Leyen Commission: for a Union that strives for more

Number of MEPs to be reduced after EU elections in 2019

The challenge of palliative care in universal health coverage

The world needs carbon-neutral flying. Here’s how to bring it one step closer

Facts, not fear, will stop COVID-19 – so how should we talk about it?

Concorde is a reminder that the only way for innovation is up

Parlamentarians to “break up” with reality in the Google antitrust case

Implementation of tax transparency initiative delivering concrete and impressive results

The world has made spectacular progress in every measure of well-being. So why does almost no one know about it?

EU guidance on the handling of visa applications from residents of Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk regions

MEPs to prioritise environment and climate action in next long-term budget

GDP growth slows in most G20 economies in third quarter of 2019

This is why retail is such a sore point in India-US trade relations

Khashoggi murder trials must public and meet international standards, UN expert urges

UN chief seeking ‘renewed commitment’ to global rules and values, as world leaders head to New York

Agriculture and Fisheries Council

A reality check on inclusive innovation

Austerity lovers to put a break on Renzi’s growth vision for Europe? the Sting reports live from World Economic Forum 2015 in Davos

This man is turning cities into giant sponges to save lives

4 key trends on how COVID has impacted women in business

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s