THE UNITED NATIONS, February 27. /TASS/. International humanitarian law has been systematically ignored in Syria's Idlib governorate, UN Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Ursula Mueller said at the session of the UN Security Council on Thursday.
"Our latest available data indicate that almost 950,000 people have fled the advancing frontlines in the northwest since 1 December," Mueller said. "Most have moved to the northwest of Idleb governorate, a small area along Syria's border with Turkey that already hosts hundreds of thousands of displaced people," she added.
"The Secretary-General has stated that international humanitarian law and the protection of civilians have been systematically ignored," she continued. "Hospitals, schools, camps and other sites where displaced families have sought shelter are not being spared. In the last ten days, a camp hosting more than 800 people was hit by shelling in Dana, which is now the most crowded of the sub-districts of Idleb Governorate. Idleb Central Hospital was among several facilities struck this week, with multiple casualties," she noted.
"Last week I spoke via video link with 14 Syrian women in Idleb and northern Aleppo," Mueller said. "The women from Idleb described to me the day-to-day reality of living in this overcrowded environment. One has found shelter in a basement with 15 other adults and 20 children. There is no privacy. Some women told me they could not change their clothes for weeks. Violence against women, they said, has become 'routine'," she explained.
The situation in Idlib has escalated at the start of February after Russian and Turkish militaries made another attempt to impose a ceasefire regime, but terrorists only stepped up their attacks in response. Last week Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Ankara is ready to use its full combat power in case an operation in Idlib is needed. Erdogan said that the start of a military campaign in Idlib is only a matter of time and that all preparations have been made.