Almost 100000 displaced by fighting in northwest Syria's Idlib since December 1

Violet Powell
January 14, 2018

In the event, at least one rebel group - this being Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of Al-Qaeda) - has made a decision to re-militarize the Al-Hass area and to this end, the last twelve hours has witnessed the jihadist faction flood southwest Aleppo with reinforcements.

Earlier in the day, an array of rebel groups in northern Syria unleashed a major counter-offensive to foil a Syrian military campaign in Idlib, following a significant advance of the government forces in that key rebel bastion.

Turkey and NGOs have warned of a new humanitarian disaster in Syria with the regime offensive on Idlib, the last province in rebel hands.

Almost 100,000 people have been displaced since early December by fighting in northwestern Syria, where the regime is waging an offensive against jihadis, the United Nations said on Wednesday.

Activists said the Syrian government forces' offensive and advance in Idlib has united the rebel factions to confront it, which could undermine the armed insurgency in Syria as Idlib is the major gathering point and rebel bastion in Syria, following the defeat of the Islamic State (IS) late a year ago.

Its forces are now close to the military air base of Abu Duhur, their next target, the war monitor said.

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The U.N. agency said the situation in Idlib was "extremely chaotic" with newly displaced people reportedly scattered across open areas.

"We couldn't think properly".

Ninety-six civilians, including 27 children, have been killed since December 25 in Syrian or Russian air strikes on Idlib, according to the Observatory.

Lowcock said he was "deeply anxious about civilians affected by the upsurge in violence in Idlib".

Turkey on Tuesday summoned the Russian and Iranian ambassadors to Ankara in order to convey its "uneasiness" about their actions in Idlib. Millions have been displaced.

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