Home World Middle East News Syria: 200,000 people fled Aleppo battle in the past two days

Syria: 200,000 people fled Aleppo battle in the past two days


United Nations announces that some 200,000 people have fled intense fighting in Syria’s second city Aleppo in the past two days.

UN humanitarian chief Baroness Valerie Amos said others were trapped in the city and needed urgent help.

Government forces launched a ground assault on Saturday after a week of sporadic shelling and sorties by fighter jets.

Residents are facing food shortages and power cuts.

The rebels are outgunned by the army, but they are fighting an effective guerrilla war in the streets.

Fighting has focused on the Salah al-Din neighborhood in Aleppo’s south-west, where the rebels had embedded themselves.

Syrian state television showed footage from the city and interviewed soldiers who said they had taken complete control of Salah al-Din late on Sunday.

On Monday, officials in Damascus again said they had “purged” the area.

But activists have denied that the quarter has been overrun by the army, saying rebels are still in control.

They said fighting was continuing on Monday.

They also reported heavy shelling and clashes at the Sakhur quarter on the north-east side of the city centre, where another attack by government forces appeared to be under way.

United Nations announces that some 200,000 people have fled intense fighting in Syria's second city Aleppo in the past two days

United Nations announces that some 200,000 people have fled intense fighting in Syria's second city Aleppo in the past two days

Baroness Amos, speaking in New York, said that the Red Cross and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent estimated 200,000 people had fled the fighting in the past two days.

“It is not known how many people remain trapped in places where fighting continues today,” she said.

“I call on all parties to the fighting to ensure that they do not target civilians and that they allow humanitarian organizations safe access.”

She said many people had fled their homes to take shelter in schools and other public buildings.

Analysts say many others will have gone to nearby villages, and others will have fled across the border with Turkey.

The UN Security Council is chronically divided over Syria, with Russia blocking attempts by Western nations to ramp up pressure on President Bashar al-Assad.

France is due to take over the presidency of the Security Council this week, and Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius has pledged to continue pushing the issue.

He called Bashar al-Assad an “executioner” and said he would ask for a ministerial level meeting of Security Council members before the end of the week.

US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta, who is on a five day Middle East tour, has also heavily criticized the government’s assault on Aleppo.

He said the attack would be “a nail in the coffin” of President Bashar al-Assad.

Leon Panetta will visit Tunisia, Egypt, Israel and Jordan in a bid to reinforce the view that Bashar al-Assad must step down.

Where Syrians are fleeing:

• Turkey: 43,387

• Jordan: 36,824

• Lebanon: 31,596

• Iraq: 8,445

• Internally displaced: One million

Source: UNHCR

In other developments:

• A Turkish official tells Reuters news agency that 12 police officers, including the chief of Latakia city’s force, have fled over the border.

• The Turkish army has sent reinforcements including missile batteries to the Syrian border, state-run Anatolian news agency reports.

 

Roy likes politics. Knowledge is power, Roy constantly says, so he spends nearly all day gathering information and writing articles about the latest events around the globe. He likes history and studying about war techniques, this is why he finds writing his articles a piece of cake. Another hobby of his is horse – riding.