More than 235,000 people have fled the Idlib region over the past two weeks, the UN has said, amid air raids by Russian and Syrian government forces targeting Syria’s last major opposition bastion.
The mass displacement between December 12- 25 has left the Maaret al-Numan region in southern Idlib “almost empty,” the UN’s humanitarian agency OCHA said on Friday.
“With the latest escalation of violence in northwest Syria, civilians in Idlib governorate are again suffering from the devastating consequences of hostilities,” it said.
Since mid-December, Russian-backed forces have pressed on with an assault on armed fighters in southern Idlib, despite an August ceasefire deal and calls for de-escalation from Turkey, France and the UN.
The increased air raids came as Damascus loyalists advanced on the ground.