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  • A view of the trucks carrying belongings of displaced Syrians, in northern Idlib, Syria January 30, 2020.

    A view of the trucks carrying belongings of displaced Syrians, in northern Idlib, Syria January 30, 2020. | Photo: Reuters

Published 31 January 2020

A total of 1,506 people, including 293 women and 433 children, had died since 29 April, when the offensive began in Idlib and Hama, according to the UN.

Almost 390,000 people have fled from their homes in northwestern Syria in the past two months due to violence, the United Nations said Thursday.

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Syrian Forces Advance Inside Idlib and Aleppo Provinces

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said the latest displacements took place between 1 December and 27 January, as many people left southern Idlib and western Aleppo provinces, “mostly escaping hostilities.”

“Daily bombardments perpetuate the unstable security situation in northwest Syria, affecting civilian infrastructure including internally displaced persons (IDP) camps, schools, health centers, and hospitals,” the OCHA said.

On Wednesday, UN deputy humanitarian coordinator for the Syria crisis Mark Cutts pointed out that 115,000 people fled Idlib and Aleppo last week alone. Three million people in Idlib are trapped, according to estimates issued by the UN.

The OCHA explained that the majority of those uprooted since 15 January have been displaced several times and “with each new displacement compounding experienced risks and vulnerabilities.”

Meanwhile, the economic crisis Syria is currently experiencing is making the situation worse.

“Devaluation of the Syrian Pound is driving up prices and unaffordability of essential goods and services in northwestern Syria, exacerbating the dire situation and reliance on humanitarian assistance,” the OCHA statement added.

Syrian government forces earlier this week have captured Maaret al-Nouman, a critical rebel-held area in Idlib, four days after the beginning of a ground offensive against rebels.

Maaret al-Nouman, the second-largest city in the northwestern province of Idlib, had been under the control of insurgent forces since 2012.

The offensive has been taking place despite a ceasefire agreed by Russia and Turkey in Idlib earlier this month.

Moscow is an ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, while Ankara supports some rebel groups.

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