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UK announces new aid package for Syria civilians

Heavily damaged buildings are seen at a marketplace after the Assad Regime carried out air strikes in Idlib, Syria on 23 March 2018 [Ahmed Rahhal/Anadolu Agency]

The UK is “extremely concerned” about escalating military action by Syrian leader Bashar Al-Assad and his backers against nearly three million civilians who sought shelter in Idlib and surrounding areas, a senior British minister said today.

“These are people who have suffered through more than seven years of fighting. Many have already been displaced multiple times,” Minister for the Middle East Alistair Burt said as the British government announced new measures to assist civilians in the region.

According to the announcement, the UK will help “protect and assist civilians in North West Syria amid warnings that more than 2.9 million people in Idlib and surrounding areas are at risk of deadly attacks by the Assad regime and its backers.”

The newly announced assistance will include support for four health centres and two mobile health teams which will travel around the area treating “the most vulnerable people”.

Read: Who killed 8,000 prisoners in Syria’s slaughterhouses?

The British government will also back an innovative new technology that provides civilians with early warnings about airstrikes by detecting aircraft and sending early warnings to civilians through air raid sirens and social media alerts, according to the statement.

The British aid will also include “psychological support” to protect women and children and “one-off cash transfers to the most vulnerable families fleeing into Idlib”.

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