At least 84 die fleeing Daesh in Deir Ezzor in east Syria: UN

Young childrn look at a member of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) after leaving the Islamic State (IS) group's last holdout of Baghouz, in Syria's northern Deir Ezzor province on February 27, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 02 March 2019
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At least 84 die fleeing Daesh in Deir Ezzor in east Syria: UN

  • There are reports of 175 children having been hospitalised malnutrition
  • Some 13,000 people fled Deir Ezzor last week

GENEVA: At least 84 people, two thirds of them children, have died since December on their way to Al-Hol camp in northeastern Syria after fleeing Daesh in the Deir Ezzor region, the United Nations said on Friday.
"There are reports of 175 children having been hospitalised due to medical symptoms from severe acute malnutrition," Jens Laerke, spokesman of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), also told a news briefing, citing reports from UN agencies and aid groups on the ground.
Some 13,000 people fled Deir Ezzor last week, many of them arriving at al-Hol, and the exodus continues on what is a "long and very tiring journey", he said.

Meanwhile, the Russian military says the Syrian government is sending convoys to evacuate a refugee camp in southern Syria where tens of thousands suffer from lack of food and medical supplies.
Col. Gen. Mikhail Mizintsev said the Syrian convoys are heading on Friday to the Rukban camp and urged the U.S. military in the area to secure its safe passage. Russia has blamed the US for failing to provide normal conditions in the camp, which is home to about 40,000 people.
Mizintsev says the US military would bear "full responsibility for the safe passage" of convoys through its zone of control.
The Russian military said it will work together with the Syrian army to escort the convoys as they head to temporary accommodation centers for refugees established in several Syrian provinces.


Turkey sends weapons to opposition fighters in Syria

Turkish-backed Syrian opposition fighters get a major boost as Ankara backs them with fresh supplies of weaponry to help them hold their ground. (Reuters)
Updated 50 min 31 sec ago
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Turkey sends weapons to opposition fighters in Syria

  • Ankara signals readiness to preserve its influence in Syria’s Idlib province in northwestern region

AMMAN: Turkey has equipped an array of mainstream Syrian opposition fighters it backs with fresh supplies of weaponry to help them try to repel a major Russian-backed assault, senior opposition officials and opposition sources said on Saturday.
Russia is backing the Syrian army’s large aerial and ground assault as it seeks to gain control of the last big stretch of opposition-held territory in the northwest of the country.
Syria’s Bashar Assad launched the assault last month, saying fighters had breached an existing cease-fire, triggering a civilian exodus by bombarding Idlib and adjacent areas. It has been the biggest escalation since last summer between Assad and the opposition fighters in Idlib province and a belt of territory around it.
Ankara stepped up supplies in recent days after failing to persuade Russia in recent meetings of a joint working group that it should end its escalation to avert a major influx of refugees pouring into Turkey, two senior opposition figures said.

FASTFACT

Ankara stepped up supplies in recent days after failing to persuade Russia in recent meetings of a joint working group that it should end its escalation to avert a major influx of refugees pouring into Turkey.

In doing so Turkey signaled its readiness to preserve its influence in northwestern Syria, where it has beefed up its troop presence in a dozen military bases that were set up under a de-escalation deal with Russia, a senior opposition commander said. Turkish officials were not immediately available for comment.
Overnight, a Turkish military convoy arrived in a base in northern Hama near opposition-held Jabal Al-Zawiya, where Russian and Syrian jets have been pounding for weeks, a fighter and a witness said.
The delivery of dozens of armored vehicles, Grad rocket launchers, anti-tank guided missiles helped roll back some army gains and retake the strategically located town of Kfar Nabouda.