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Syria camp airstrikes show shocking disregard for civilians


Syria camp airstrikes show shocking disregard for civilians

UNHCR denounces fatal attacks on settlements where displaced had sought safety in northern Syria which killed many and injured scores more.
6 May 2016
A 2013 file photo shows humanitarian aid reaching internally displaced people in the Azzas area of northern Syria.

GENEVA, May 6 (UNHCR) - The UN Refugee Agency is deeply shocked and dismayed at reports yesterday that many people were killed and scores more injured in air strikes on settlements where displaced people had sought safety in Idleb governorate, northern Syria. Early reports show children were among the casualties.

The attacks are a flagrant violation of international humanitarian and human rights law and demonstrate once again the extreme difficulty confronting civilians fleeing violence in Syria as they try to find safety.

The informal settlement of Ghita Al-Rahmeh, near the village of Al-Kamoneh - located south east of the Sarmada town in Idleb governorate - was hosting around 2,500 people (450 families) who had already fled their homes in western and northern rural Aleppo since late last year. Reports indicate that many people have since fled to surrounding hills, fearing further attacks.

The victims of the strikes on Thursday (May 5, 2016) are among some 6.5 million internally displaced people in Syria, many of whom have been uprooted several times as the frontlines of conflict have shifted over the last five years.

It is an unacceptable tragedy that civilians who had already fled for their lives have been targeted in this way; the strikes demonstrate shameful scorn for the sanctity of the civilian nature of camps for internally displaced people.

A political solution to the Syrian conflict is more urgent than ever.