At least 270,000 people have fled Syria’s southwestern city of Daraa to border areas near Jordan due to fierce attacks by Syrian regime forces, the UN said Monday, Anadolu reports.
Of the total, 135,000 were children, Hitam Malkawi, the spokesperson for the UN in Jordan, told Anadolu Agency.
The current number is far above expectations, Malkawi added.
The spokesperson said they are waiting for the right time to distribute aid in accordance with the UN’s working principles.
On June 12, the Syrian regime, supported by Iranian militias and a Russian air force, launched a military operation into opposition held areas in southern Syria.
At least 214 civilians were killed in regime attacks in Daraa between June 15 and June 30, according to a report released Sunday by the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR).
The fatalities included 65 children and 43 women, the NGO said.
The regime onslaught has forced thousands of civilians to flee to the border areas near Jordan.
On Thursday, Amman expressed its readiness to support the UN’s role in assisting displaced Syrians but without going so far as to open the border.
In the last several days, Daraa has been the target of intense air and ground attacks by the Bashar al-Assad regime and its allies, who have advanced deep into Daraa’s eastern countryside, capturing the towns of Busra al-Harir and Nahtah.
Following peace talks held last year in the Kazakh capital Astana, Daraa was designated as a “de-escalation zone” in which acts of aggression are expressly prohibited.
Syria has only just begun to emerge from a devastating conflict that began in 2011 when the Assad regime cracked down on demonstrators with unexpected ferocity.