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WHO voices concern over humanitarian situation in Idlib

Syrian citizens who were affected by attacks carried out by Russian warplanes over Saraqib district are seen, collecting their usable belongings, in the de-escalation zone of Idlib, Syria on 24 December 2019. [Hüseyin Fazıl - Anadolu Agency]
Syrian citizens who were affected by attacks carried out by Russian warplanes over Saraqib district are seen, collecting their usable belongings, in the de-escalation zone of Idlib, Syria on 24 December 2019. [Hüseyin Fazıl - Anadolu Agency]

Nearly 130,000 civilians have been displaced in Syria's northwestern province of Idlib, the World Health Organization said Wednesday, Anadolu reports.

Some 12 million people are in need of medical assistance in Syria as regime and Russian jets pound civilian settlements, according to a statement.

So far, 14 dispensaries and two hospitals have been closed down and 42 other healthcare facilities risk closure if attacks continue in the region, it added.

Richard Brennan, acting regional emergency director for WHO in the Eastern Mediterranean, said: "The recent military tensions in the region have led to civilian casualties, injuries and intensification of human suffering."

As the regime and Russian forces intensify attacks, more than 2,000 civilians have fled Idlib in the past 24 hours, according to sources on the ground who asked not to be named for fear of reprisals.

READ: Erdogan warns Europeans once again of Syrian refugees' flow 

In September 2018, Turkey and Russia agreed to turn Idlib into a de-escalation zone in which acts of aggression would be expressly prohibited.

Since then, more than 1,300 civilians have been killed in attacks by the regime and Russian forces in the de-escalation zone as the cease-fire continues to be violated.

Over a million Syrians have moved near the Turkish border due to the intense attacks over the last year.

Since the eruption of the bloody civil war in Syria in 2011, Turkey has taken in some 3.7 million Syrians who fled their country, making Turkey the world's top refugee-hosting country.

Ankara has so far spent $40 billion for the refugees, according to official figures.

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Europe & RussiaInternational OrganisationsMiddle EastNewsRussiaSyriaWHO
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