Statement from Refugees International Vice President for Programs and Policy Hardin Lang:
“Since the Syrian regime and its Russian ally stepped up their bombardment of Idlib province in February, more than 140,000 civilian men, women, and children have been forced to flee for their lives. It is difficult to overstate the urgency of this looming humanitarian disaster if nothing is done to protect these people who often have lost everything.
“Idlib is the last refuge for Syrians who were forced to flee conflict in other parts of the country; its pre-war population of 1.5 million has doubled to 3 million people, and two-thirds of them depend on humanitarian aid just to survive. Hundreds of thousands of internally displaced persons live in dilapidated housing amid harsh weather conditions and dwindling assistance. Many people displaced by the recent attacks have already had to flee for safety two, three, or more times, and now civilians trapped in the province have nowhere else to go. If an all-out offensive is planned, the death toll could be devastating.
“The regime and its ally are using barrel bombs and artillery to target homes, hospitals, schools, civil defense offices and other, vital civilian infrastructure, all in violation of international humanitarian law. This should shock the world’s conscience. If international and regional decision-makers turn their back on efforts to reach a peaceful resolution to the Syrian conflict and end military actions, the Syrian people will face a humanitarian disaster unprecedented in a war that has already seen enough brutality to last many lifetimes.”
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