A boy is waving NRC's flag in Bajur Agency, FATA, Pakistan. Photo: NRC/Shahzad Ahmad

Intense fighting in southern Syria creates largest displacement since start of war

NRC|Published 05. Jul 2018
The resumption of fighting in southern Syria is now putting the lives of hundreds of thousands of civilians at immediate risk as the largest ever wave of displacement in the Syrian war unfolds, the Norwegian Refugee Council warned today.

"This is a catastrophe in the making, but it can be stopped at any moment, and it has to be stopped," NRC Secretary General Jan Egeland said. "A ceasefire is urgently needed so that people in need can get assistance, and we call on all the governments with influence to exercise all their power to stop this bloodshed.

We also urge the Jordanian government, with increased international support, to open the border to the Syrians who are now cornered and fearing for their lives. This is the only way they can be truly protected from the approaching attacks. It is now more urgent than ever to give them safe refuge and for the international community to help Jordan robustly to deal with this crisis."

Over the last 24 hours, attacks have hit displaced families, killing and injuring children and women who were fleeing for their lives. More than 330,000 people are now displaced — the largest ever displacement in the Syrian war. The families currently fleeing for the lives include local aid workers, who have themselves become targets and displaced people in need of help. Reports are coming in of pregnant women giving birth out in the open in the scorching sun, and children dying because of lacking medical assistance. The fighting is also getting dangerously near the Jordanian border, where thousands have nowhere left to go.