While the media’s eyes are elsewhere, a serious escalation of violence in rebel-held northwest Syria has reportedly forced more than 70,000 people to flee their homes. Shelling and air-strikes by the Syrian government and its allies have killed dozens of civilians and hit hospitals, as well as displacement camps and mosques. Aid groups are particularly worried about this new wave of flight given the onset of winter and the fact that over half of the region’s more than four million residents have already been displaced at least once. Médecins Sans Frontières says that around 19 hospitals in the region are only able to provide emergency care, and even that is difficult to do. A statement from Siham Hajaj, MSF’s head of mission for northwest Syria, called specifically for “urgent action” to improve trauma and surgical capabilities in Idlib, which are now harshly limited.
From The New Humanitarian, Oct. 13.