UN concerned over safety of civilians amid continued violence in Northeast Syria

New York , Nov 8 : The United Nations has expressed concerns about the safety of civilians amid continued hostilities in the northeast of Syria.

In a statement, released by the United Nations late on Thursday, Najat Rochdi, a senior humanitarian adviser to the world body and special envoy for Syria, detailed her conclusions on her recent visit to Syria to assess the humanitarian situation in the country.

"The safety and protection of hundreds of thousands of civilians affected by the recent escalation of hostilities in northeast Syria remain a grave concern. While the intensity and scope of violence have declined in recent weeks, localized heavy fighting continues," the statement read.

Since October 9, when Turkey launched its security operation in the area, dozens of civilians have been killed or injured, while only two out of 16 health facilities are currently working at full capacity there, according to Rochdi.

The UN official underscored a dire displacement crisis caused by hostilities in northern Syria, which erupted amid the already acute humanitarian situation in the country. Over the recent weeks, more than 200,000 people had fled the area and about half of them had since been unable to return home, Rochdi continued.

"Ms Rochdi urged all parties to do more to facilitate guaranteed safe, unimpeded and sustained access for the UN and its humanitarian partners. Efforts are ongoing to ensure the Alok water station, which provides safe water to about 460,000 Syrians, can be restored as soon as possible after having been damaged multiple times," the statement pointed out.

Notably, after holding talks with Syrian government officials and humanitarian actors, Rochdi concluded that overall humanitarian access across the country had improved. The UN official also noted the government's willingness to cooperate with the United Nations for improving the humanitarian situation in the country.

Turkey's Operation Peace Spring in northeastern Syria targeted Kurdish militia, seen as terrorists by Ankara, and the Islamic State terror group (banned in Russia). Damascus has condemned the operation as a violation of Syria's sovereignty.

On October 22, Turkey and Russia concluded a memorandum that details conditions for a peaceful withdrawal of the Kurdish forces to a distance of 30 kilometres (18.6 miles) from the border with Turkey. The 10-point document envisions patrol missions carried out by the Russian military contingent in Syria and Turkish troops in order to ensure the implementation of the deal.

(ANI | 8 months ago)

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UN concerned over safety of civilians amid continued violence in Northeast Syria