UN cites Aleppo situation as ‘chilling’, says 16,000 civilians displaced
Up to 16,000 civilians have fled strife-torn parts of eastern Aleppo as rebels lost the entire northern neighbourhoods of their stronghold, the UN said on Tuesday, while describing the situation as “chilling”.
“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 Aleppo. The situation in eastern Aleppo is dire, with intensified ground fighting and indiscriminate aerial bombardment reportedly killing and injuring many civilians, he said.