Since the beginning of November 2017, hostilities between Government of Syria forces and non-state armed groups (NSAGs) intensified considerably in the north-eastern countryside of Hama Governorate, the southern and south-eastern countryside of Idleb Governorate and the southern countryside of Aleppo Governorate.
According to the Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) Cluster, the intensification in hostilities brought about the displacement of 60,310 people from As-Saan, Hamra, Oqeirbat sub-districts in Hama Governorate and Tamanaah and Sanjar sub-districts in Idleb Governorate, between 1 November and 24 December 2017.
The situation of newly displaced is said to be dire, as humanitarian organizations struggle to meet the increasing humanitarian and protection needs of the affected population in Northwestern Syria.
“Evacuation” agreements continue to bring new displacements to northwestern Syria, with 108 people from the Bait Jan Enclave in Rural Damascus Governorate arriving to north-western Syria on 30 December.
Since the beginning of November, hostilities between Government of Syria (GoS) forces and non-state armed groups (NSAGs) increased significantly in the north-eastern countryside of Hama Governorate, the southern countryside of Idleb Governorate, and to a lesser extent in the southern countryside of Aleppo Governorate. This escalation caused casualties among the affected population, damaged civilian infrastructure and caused the displacement of thousands in north-western Syria.
On 31 December, local sources reported that six people were killed by airstrikes on Kafar Sajna town. The town’s municipal building was reportedly damaged. In Ma’arrat An Nu’man town, local sources reported that 18 people were wounded by airstrikes on 29 December. On 27 December, local sources reported that barrel bombs landed near an IDP settlement near Sarman village, resulting in the death of a woman and a child. On 26 December, the local council of Latmana town in northern rural Hama reported that airstrikes rendered the town’s only borehole out of service, affecting 1,000 families. On the same day, the Hama Health Directorate in NSAG-held areas reported that the surgical hospital in Latmana town was temporarily rendered out of service by aerial bombardment.
On 28 December, local media sources reported that a compound containing several schools in Babuline village in southern rural Idleb was hit by airstrikes on 28 December, which resulted in medium damage to the buildings. On the same day, a power station in rural Hama reportedly became out of service due to the shelling. As a result, the power rationing hours will likely increase in the northern and coastal regions of the country. On 31 December, local sources reported that a rocket landed in the yard of a school in Tal Silmo village in southeastern rural Idleb, causing minor damage to the building and no casualties. Due to the general insecurity in the southern part of Idleb Governorate, the education assemblies in Ma’arrat An N’uman, Kafar Nobol, Khan Shaykun and Abul Thohur sub-districts suspended education activities temporarily pending further assessment of the security situation.
The Health Cluster reported that a hospital supported by a local NGO in Ma’arrat An Nu’man sub district was reportedly impacted by an airstrike on 31 December, which resulted in minor structural damages. The facility remains fully operational. The Cluster also reported that a medical warehouse belonging to an INGO in Ma’arrat An Nu’man sub-district, was impacted by barrel bombs on 30 December. This reportedly resulted in structural damage, as well as, the destruction of medical and nutrition supplies, medicines and medical equipment. The facility is out of service.
In the meanwhile, “evacuation” agreements continue to bring more IDPs to north-western Syria. As per an agreement reached between Government of Syria forces and NSAGs in the Bait Jan enclave of Rural Damascus Governorate on 25 December, 108 people (40 armed men, 18 civilian males, 21 women, and 29 children) arrived in Al-Madiq Castle town (entry point into NSAG-held areas in north-western Syria) in northern rural Hama on 30 December. Under the same agreement, evacuations from the Bait Jan enclave to Dar’a were carried out.
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