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Clashes in Idlib May Result in Displacement of Up to 700,000 People – Report

GENEVA (Switzerland), (Sputnik) – Escalation of hostilities in the Syrian province of Idlib may result in the displacement of up to 700,000 people, Turkey: Health Cluster Bulletin report issued by the World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday said.

"Increased armed hostilities are expected in northwest Syria, with significant displacements (from estimated 200,000 to over 700,000) expected in Idlib and surrounding areas," the report said.

The bulletin pointed out that the current situation in Syria was characterized by the rising number of people in need and a sharp decrease in funding.

"The total People in Need (PiN) for the WoS Health cluster/sector has increased by 700,000 people, from 11.3 million during the last quarter of 2017, to 12 million by the end of June 2018. A significant reason for the increase in PiN is the displacement of approximately 560,000 people to northwest Syria (NWS) in the first 6 months of the year," the report said.

Preparations for operations in Idlib. - Sputnik International
Syrian Army Preparing Operation to Liberate Idlib Province – Military Source
The Idlib province was seized by the Jabhat Fatah al-Sham terror group* in 2015. The Syrian government allowed radicals who surrendered in the city of Aleppo, in the Homs province and in the Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta to leave for Idlib.

READ MORE: Militants Continue Shelling in Idlib De-Escalation Zone, Syria — Russian MoD

Since 2017, the Idlib province has been included in the northern de-escalation zone created under the Astana reconciliation process. On July 26, Syrian President Bashar Assad told Russian journalists that the Syrian troops would focus on fighting terrorists in Idlib and other provinces.

READ MORE: Syrian Opposition Members Arrested on Militant-Held Territories in Idlib, Hama

*Nusra Front, aka Jabhat Fatah al-Sham, has also been described as al-Qaeda in Syria — a terrorist group, banned in numerous countries, including Russia

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