‘The nightmare in Idlib is getting worse’, UN humanitarian official warns
59 civilians killed, and over 100 injured, some critically. That’s the human toll from the latest attack in the last rebel-held province in Syria, Idlib.
The succession of airstrikes on Monday was described as “the deadliest so far” by a senior official at OCHA, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
Mark Cutts, Deputy Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for OCHA, said on Tuesday that the worst strike was on a popular public market in the town of Maarat al-Numan, which left at least 39 dead, with the figure likely to rise as more bodies are discovered.
Mr. Cutts said that the attacks amounted to a “shocking escalation” in the ever-worsening conflict in north-west Syria.
Record heatwaves in store for Europe…
Heatwaves will continue to hit many parts of Europe this week, with some countries on course to see record temperatures, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said on Tuesday.
Germany and the Benelux countries are likely to experience their hottest day ever on Thursday, when they will have to deal with a peak of over 40 degrees Celsius – that’s 104 degrees Fahrenheit.
Several parts of France have set records for the lowest amount of rainfall since records began, whilst in Spain, the national weather service is warning of an extreme fire risk for large parts of the country.
The warnings follow a sweltering weekend for the USA, where records were set for several locations, including Atlanta, New Jersey and New York’s JFK airport .
A spokesperson for the WMO said on Tuesday that extreme weather events are “not a problem that’s going to go away”, and that heatwaves are starting earlier, becoming increasingly common, and more intense.
…and widespread flooding brings destruction to Bangladesh
Meanwhile, in Bangladesh, parts of the country - including the huge Cox’s Bazar refugee camp – are struggling to cope with continual heavy rains that have brought widespread flooding and destruction.
In a statement on Tuesday, a spokesperson for the World Food Programme (WFP), said that the agency has supported more than 11,000 refugees affected by the rains and flooding in the first two weeks of July, a significant rise compared to the same time last year.
Refugee camps have been affected by hundreds of landslides caused by storms and rain, and WFP engineering teams have been working against the clock to stabilize slopes and create drainage systems.
The flood response is already greater than that of 2018, and the second half of the monsoon season in Bangladesh is still to come.