The United Nations’ Syria envoy has acknowledged that over 80 per cent of recently displaced Syrians are women and children.
The UN special envoy for Syria, Geir Pedersen, told the Arab League’s foreign ministers in Cairo yesterday that “More than 900,000 people have been displaced since 1 December. Women and children together comprise 81 percent of the newly displaced population.”
Adding that the battles between Turkish forces and Syrian regime forces are “a worrying change in the nature of the conflict.”
Alluding to the nine-year-long Syrian civil war between the regime of President Bashar Al-Assad and the opposition forces, Pedersen warned that “with five international armies active inside Syria, the dangers of wider international conflagration remain”.
He stressed that in order to avoid “a bleak and uncertain future, with dire regional consequences,” the main aim should be a “meaningful political process”.
Pedersen’s comments come almost a week after Turkey opened its borders with Syria and Greece to allow Syrians refugees to make their way to Europe. Since then, over 130,000 refugees have crossed into Europe.
The Greek border and naval guards have been caught using violence and abuse in an effort to prevent their entrance, with one refugee having died on Monday as a result of the Greek border guards’ firing of tear gas canisters.
Pedersen warning comes as many in Europe have said the majority of those escaping Syria and Turkey are men who are “invading” Europe.