|Published : 29 Nov 2016, 17:26:12|
16,000 flee east Aleppo, says UN
Up to 16,000 civilians have fled strife-torn parts of eastern Aleppo as the rebels lost all of the northern neighbourhoods of their stronghold, the UN said Tuesday, describing the situation as "chilling", The Times of India.
"The intensity of attacks on eastern Aleppo neighbourhoods over the past few days has forced thousands of civilians to flee to other parts of the city," UN humanitarian chief Stephen O'Brien said in a statement.
He pointed to reports from the UN's humanitarian partners on the ground indicating that "up to 16,000 people have been displaced, many into uncertain and precarious situations".
"It is likely that thousands more will have no choice but to flee should fighting continue to spread and intensify over the coming days," he warned.
His comments came as the Syrian army advanced deep inside east Aleppo, taking several neighbourhoods from the opposition in an onslaught to recapture the entire city.
Many of those fleeing the intense battles in eastern Aleppo have gone to districts held by the government or Kurdish forces, others heading south into areas still under opposition control.
O'Brien voiced concern over the "deeply alarming and chilling situation unfolding" across all of Aleppo.
The situation in eastern Aleppo is dire, with intensified ground fighting and indiscriminate aerial bombardment reportedly killing and injuring many civilians, he said.
"There are no functioning hospitals left, and official food stocks are practically finished".
At the same time, indiscriminate shelling on government-held western Aleppo has killed and injured civilians and has displaced more than 20,000 people in recent weeks, he said.
O'Brien said the UN and its partners were trying their best to help those displaced by the fighting across the city, and stood ready to bring aid into eastern Aleppo and to carry out medical evacuations if they managed to get access.