Conflict

Humanitarian Crisis In Idlib And Hama Is Exacerbated By Conflict

Syria

Aerial bombardments by the Syrian regime hitting sites in Idlib and Hama continue to force local residents out of their homes in search of refuge.

The humanitarian situation in northwestern Syria continues to worsen as Syrian and Russian shelling targets villages and towns in northern Hama and the southern countryside of Idlib. Residents say that the bombardment has forced them out of their homes and they have nowhere to go because even the demilitarisation zone (DMZ) that was set up by Turkey and Russia to protect civilians is no longer safe.

According to local sources, over 300,000 people have abandoned their homes and fled to the cities of Afrin and Qatmah to seek temporary refuge from the conflict.

While tensions have been rising regarding the fate of Idlib and its countryside for quite some time, the UN says that the Syrian Regime has dropped the highest number of bombs on northwestern Syria over the past 15 months, targeting many educational, health and residential facilities. As a result of these continued bombings, relief and aid organisations have not been able to go to these areas, resulting in the worsening of the humanitarian crisis.

Furthermore, hospitals and health care centres in Kafr Nabl, Kafr Zita, and at the countryside of the village of Hass, have announced that their operations have been disrupted and destroyed as a result of the intensifying shelling.

While the DMZ, which was set up in September 2018 under the Sochi Agreement, was meant to protect civilians from Russian and Syrian shelling, it seems like all actors do not care to put it into effect, as it has not stopped the forces from bombing and displacing civilians from their homes.

According to activists, the Syrian Regime will not stop the bombing of Idlib and its neighbouring areas until they are in full control of the M4 and M5 strategic roads that link Idlib with Hama and Latakia. According to these activists, these two roads are vital for the return of the Syrian economy.

Others, however, argue that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad will not cease his operations until he gains control over all of the areas currently held by the opposition.

With the start of the holy month of Ramadan, those trapped in the city are hoping that the Syrian Regime stops the continued shelling of their homes and that humanitarian assistance is delivered to them soon so that their suffering may finally come to an end.