New York February 18, 2020 –Shelling and airstrikes are triggering mass displacement in northwestern Syria as government forces and their Russian allies continue their offensive into the country’s last opposition-held area. Towns and displacement camps west of Aleppo were hit by shelling in recent days, and roads are packed with vehicles as people flee towards a safe area that gets smaller every day.
“People are facing a desperate situation,” says Julien Delozanne, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) head of mission for Syria. “Attacks are now taking place in areas that were previously considered to be safe. The people fleeing north are being squeezed into a territory that is getting smaller and smaller, between the front line to the east and the closed Turkish border to the west. Living conditions in the camps for displaced people are already harsh. If the military operation continues, a new influx of people to the area will make the situation even worse.”