Tens of thousands of Syrians have fled their homes south of the second city Aleppo since a government offensive there began last week, a UN agency said on Tuesday.
The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said around 35,000 people had been displaced by the fighting.
“Around 35,000 people are reported to have been displaced from Hader and Zerbeh on the southwestern outskirts of Aleppo city, following government offensives over last few days,” said OCHA spokeswoman Vanessa Huguenin.
She said many of the displaced were living with host families and in informal settlements further west in the province.
“People urgently need food and basic household and shelter items,” she said.
“In addition, aid agencies are growing more and more concerned for families living outdoors as the weather is getting colder especially overnight.”
Syrian government forces began a new offensive south of Aleppo city on October 17, backed byRussian air strikes.
They are fighting to take villages and towns that lie near the strategic Aleppo-Damascus highway.
Comment from Aleppo City contact:
“As for the UN claim, first I doubt that number, there might be exaggerations.
Second, the people who are fleeing are from Aleppo province where the heavy fights taking place, not from Aleppo city where no fleeing took place. Third, among these new refugees, I wonder if there were any terrorists and their families. You know, the fanatics are shaving their long beards and acting as refugees. Who knows? It could be unlucky innocent people who found themselves between the Russian jets and Da’esh, but some of them might be terrorists who shaved their beards and pretended to be fleeing refugees. Even if there were 3% hiding among them, that is equal to 1,000 terrorist, if the UN claimed number was correct. Are they going to Europe like other refugees? ……. Good luck!”