United Nations says over 200000 have fled Syria's Raqqa since April

Bruno Cirelli
Luglio 28, 2017

The United Nations estimated Thursday that 20,000 to 50,000 civilians remained trapped in the Syrian city of Raqqa, the site of heavy fighting as USA -backed local forces seek to defeat Islamic State militants in their self-declared capital.

Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Ursula Mueller told the UN Security Council in a video briefing from Amman، Jordan، that "an estimated 20،000 to 50،000 people remain inside Raqqa city، which is now encircled، and their situation is perilous - there is no way for them to get out."AP said".

She also lamented that the United Nations has delivered aid to only a few hard-to-reach areas in Syria and not a single besieged location this month - and she blamed the Syrian government، armed groups، insecurity and fighting.

For those displaced in Raqqa province، she said humanitarian conditions are very hard with temperatures now approaching 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit).

While the fighting has eased in Daraa governorate and other areas, "the humanitarian and protection situation remains extremely hard for civilians in many parts of the country", Mueller said.

"As military operations continue, our concern is further civilian casualties", she said, especially since Islamic State fighters have allegedly used civilians as human shields.

"The health situation, particularly the low availability of trauma care services, is a major concern in view of the intense fighting and shifting front lines", she said.

Mueller said the United Nations continues to see a reduction in violence in some areas since Russian Federation and Iran، both supporters of Syrian President Bashar Assad، and Turkey، which backs rebels fighting Syrian government forces، agreed on a plan in May to establish four "de-escalation" zones in Syria. Other U.N. partners delivered aid to some hard-to-reach areas.

Mueller said the heavy fighting and airstrikes had killed or injured dozens of civilians and had displaced more than 30,000 people in July.

Fourteen Geneva-based ambassadors, including the United States, Britain and France, have sent a letter to the Security Council to demand that it take action to ensure aid convoys reach millions of needy Syrians.

Britain, France and other countries that make up the worldwide humanitarian task force for Syria have written to the Security Council to express their concern about the failure to ramp up aid deliveries.

"We are not asking for humanitarian access as a favour".

"We are asking for it because it's a legal and moral obligation", Rycroft told reporters. Those five countries are veto-wielding Security Council members.

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