Via MSF.org: Syria: More than 100,000 people trapped in northern Syria by renewed fighting. Excerpt:
Gaziantep, Turkey – The situation is critical for more than 100,000 people trapped in the Azaz district of Aleppo governorate in northern Syria who are caught between an active Islamic State group frontline, Kurdish-controlled territories and the Turkish border.
The border has been closed for the last year to all but the most seriously ill Syrians, and some humanitarian staff with special permits.
The resurgence of heavy fighting over the last week has led to more than 35,000 people fleeing displaced people camps taken over by Islamic State group, or that are too close to front lines. There are now more than 100,000 people gathered at border areas with Turkey, with active fighting just seven kilometres away.
The fighting has also led to several medical facilities shutting down as fighting draws close and medical staff flee. However MSF’s 52-bed hospital in northern Azaz district is still running, and is prioritising emergency care.
“Yet again we see tens of thousands of people forced to flee but with almost nowhere safe to go – trapped in this bloody, brutal conflict,” said Muskilda Zancada, MSF head of mission, Syria. “Our medical teams are working under unimaginably difficult conditions and given the severity of the crisis we have decided to focus on emergency lifesaving interventions. In the last week we have seen nearly 700 patients in the Emergency Room, including 24 war-wounded.”
The hospital has also assisted with 8 deliveries since April 10, and MSF teams have so far distributed emergency relief items such as blankets and tarpaulins to more than 3,400 newly displaced people.
MSF once again asks warring parties to respect civilians and health structures, "but given how this war has been conducted from the very beginning, including deliberate targeting of civilians, we are extremely worried about the protection of the population if the frontlines keep approaching", adds Muskilda Zancada.