UN warn­ing as Syr­ian violence mounts

The Scotsman - - WORLD NEWS - By MAR­GARET NIEHGBOUR

The UN food agency has warned of a wors­en­ing hu­man­i­tar­ian sit­u­a­tion in Syria’s last rebel strong­hold.

The lat­est wave of fight­ing be­tween rebel groups and gov­ern­ment forces, which be­gan ten days ago, is the most se­ri­ous chal­lenge to a cease­fire bro­kered by Rus­sia and Turkey last Septem­ber.

Al­ready, some 150,000 peo­ple have been dis­placed in­side the en­clave, which is home to three mil­lion peo­ple and spans most of Idlib prov­ince.

“The sit­u­a­tion in­side Idlib and north­west Syria is dire and should es­ca­la­tion in violence con­tinue, more des­per­ate fam­i­lies will be dis­placed,” said Marwa Awad, spokes­woman for the World Food Pro­gram in Syria.

The agency was al­ready forced to sus­pend aid de­liv­ery in the last few days.

The rebel strong­hold is the last pocket of anti- gov­ern­ment op­po­si­tion in the eight- year civil war. Mul­ti­ple for­eign pow­ers have in­ter­vened in the con­flict, with Rus­sia and Iran back­ing the gov­ern­ment.

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