ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – A United Nations official on Tuesday said at least 700,000 Syrians had been forced to escape their homes in 2018 due to ongoing clashes in several areas of the country.
Panos Moumtzis, the regional humanitarian coordinator for the Syria crisis, expressed his concern over the substantial displacement of civilians in the country.
“I am deeply concerned about the continuing massive displacement of close to 700,000 Syrians since the beginning of the year due to ongoing hostilities in the country,” the UN official managing the crisis response said in a statement.
According to UN statistics, over 400,000 people had been displaced by military operations in the northern province of Idlib since the start of the year.
Additionally, Turkey’s military operation against the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in the Kurdish-held enclave of Afrin in January led to the displacement of tens of thousands of civilians.
The UN also highlighted the displacement of about 133,000 from Eastern Ghouta where an alleged chemical attack was used over the weekend.
The use of chemical weapons is prohibited in accordance with international law and is considered a war crime.
The attack has sparked a reaction from several nations opposed to the Syrian regime, including the United States, France, and the United Kingdom who all voiced their concern and warned of a swift response.
The UN Security Council will meet later Tuesday to vote on a resolution to set up an inquiry to investigate chemical weapons attacks in Syria.
The Syrian conflict has been ongoing since 2011 despite international efforts to end it. The war has killed hundreds of thousands and displaced millions of Syrians.