Syria violence at worst level since Aleppo

The worst fighting since the battle for eastern Aleppo last year is raging in several regions of Syria, causing hundreds of civilian casualties, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said.

Up to 10 hospitals have been reportedly damaged in the past 10 days, cutting off hundreds of thousands of people from access to health care, the aid agency said in a statement on Thursday, voicing alarm at the situation from Raqqa to Idlib and eastern Ghouta.

“For the past two weeks, we have seen an increasingly worrying spike in military operations that correlates with high levels of civilian casualties,” Marianne Gasser, head of the ICRC’s delegation in Syria, said.

“My colleagues report harrowing stories, like a family of 13 who fled Deir Az Zor only to lose 10 of its members to air strikes and explosive devices along the way.”

ICRC reported that some camps around Raqqa and Deir Az Zor are receiving more than 1,000 people, inlcuding many women and children, every day, adding that humanitarian organizations are struggling to provide water, food and basic hygiene to the new arrivals.

“Military operations must not disregard the fate of civilians and of the vital infrastructure on which their survival depends,” Robert Mardini,┬áICRC’s regional director for the Near and Middle East, said.

“Winning by any means is not only unlawful, but also unacceptable when it comes at such human cost. We call once again on all those fighting in Syria to show restraint, and to abide by the basic tenets of International humanitarian law.”

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