Despite the return of tens of thousands of internally displaced people (IDPs) to Syria following local agreements and changes in territorial control, the United Nations said on Friday that fresh airstrikes have reportedly killed dozens of civilians “in several areas” of the country.
The head of the United Nations Refugee Agency, UNHCR, appealed on Thursday for Jordan to open its border with south-west Syria to help protect around 750,000 civilians who are “caught in the crossfire”, amidst airstrikes and heavy shelling.
Intense air and ground-based strikes at multiple locations in Syria’s south-western Dara’a governorate has resulted in the “largest displacement” in the area since the conflict began more than seven years ago, the United Nations refugee agency has reported.
Expressing “deep alarm” over increased hostilities in southwestern Syria and its “devastating” toll on civilians, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres called for an immediate cessation of the military operations.
Adopting separate resolutions, the United Nations Security Council has extended the mandates of the Organization’s Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) and the African Union-UN Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID).
Escalating conflict in Syria’s southwest has cut vital cross-border aid deliveries from neighbouring Jordan, a senior United Nations official said on Thursday, in an appeal to warring parties to halt the fighting immediately.