Last Updated: Friday, 17 November 2017, 15:16 GMT

Syria: UN relief wing voices concern about civilians caught in crossfire in Raqqa city

Publisher UN News Service
Publication Date 9 August 2017
Cite as UN News Service, Syria: UN relief wing voices concern about civilians caught in crossfire in Raqqa city, 9 August 2017, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/598dbb474.html [accessed 18 November 2017]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

The United Nations humanitarian wing is deeply concerned about the safety and protection of the thousands of civilians inside Raqqa city, many of them women and children, who are caught in the crossfire of the ongoing conflict, a UN spokesperson said today.

“The humanitarian community is assisting displaced people – and host communities – in at least 46 sites, camps or areas of high concentration of internally displaced people in the area, and they are reaching over 263,000 people with some form of assistance in July,” Spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters at the regular Headquarters press briefing in New York.

He added that assistance includes various types of food, including daily rations of bread, medicines and medical supplies, as well as nutrition assistance.

The offensive to retake Raqqa city from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da'esh) began two months ago. Ground fighting and airstrikes in and around the city have led to mass displacement and a deterioration of the humanitarian situation inside the city.

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), an estimated 10,000 to 25,000 people remain trapped in the city, although exact figures remain difficult to verify due to the situation on the ground.

“Access to Raqqa is not currently possible for the UN, due to the fighting on the ground,” Mr. Dujarric said, reminding all military actors of their obligations to protect civilians and ensure humanitarian access, in line with international humanitarian law.

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