Desperation deepens for Syrians as conflict intensifies

Dominic Evans

At a maternity hospital in northwest Syria, an alarm flashes at the main entrance to alert staff. It’s not patients en route to the hospital. It’s warplanes.
Doctors at the hospital face a daily struggle to care for expectant mothers amid a Syrian government assault that has driven deep into Idlib province in an attempt to snuff out the last stronghold of rebels battling President Bashar al-Assad. Medical staff said there had been a marked rise in miscarriages and premature births in the last two months. Some expectant mothers arrive in shock after leaving home in terror at the bombardment, and every day four or five babies are found to have died in the womb, one doctor told Reuters.
“For me, the latest stage has been the toughest of all,” said the doctor, 37-year old Ikram who is eight months pregnant.
Speaking Thursday in a small ward filled with a dozen tiny babies in incubators, she said the last hospital she worked in had been hit in an air strike. She said so too had her father-in-law’s house and that a rocket had landed unexploded next to the kindergarten her two young children – aged 3 and 4 – usually attend.
Minutes after she spoke the hospital’s alarm went off. An amber light flashed warning of an aircraft approaching and a red light signaled danger of a direct strike.
While the maternity center was spared, an intensification of air strikes and shelling in northwest Syria has caused the biggest single displacement of Syrians of the 9-year conflict, in which hundreds of thousands of Syrians have been killed.
Nearly a million people – more than half of those children – have been uprooted since December as they have fled the destruction of their towns and villages, resulting in what the United Nations has said could be the worst humanitarian crisis of the conflict. Traumatized by war and with many uprooted several times already by fighting, they are now crowded into a shrinking pocket of land between Syrian government forces advancing from the south and east and the walled-off Turkish border to the north.
The Russian-backed Syrian government has been trying in recent months to retake Idlib province, a region that stretches around 100km (60 miles) into Syria from its northernmost point on the Turkish border. It says it is fighting to clear terrorist groups including al Qaeda from its land and has pledged to retake “every inch” of Syria. Turkey, which has said it can’t cope with the number of people fleeing the war, is supporting rebel forces fighting against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
More than 130 civilians, including at least 44 children were, were killed during February alone, with dozens of hospitals and schools among facilities affected by the strikes, according to the United Nations.
Fighting has escalated sharply in recent days, bringing Turkey – a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization – and Russia closer to direct confrontation in Syria. Turkey launched a counter offensive against Russian-backed Syrian government forces in the region after 33 Turkish troops were killed in Syrian air strikes in Idlib last week.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan says he hopes to achieve a ceasefire in Syria’s Idlib in talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin this week. On the battlefield, however, both sides have doubled down.
Ikram, who requested her last name not be published due to security concerns, qualified ten years ago just before the uprising started in 2011. She decided to stay in Syria, even as other doctors left. She worked in the town of Maarat al Numan, where there had been a shortage of doctors, and then moved to a hospital in her hometown of Idlib city. “I wanted to do what I can,” said Ikram, becoming visibly emotional.
The maternity hospital she currently works at has been open about five years, she said, adding she’s is one of only three doctors left working there.
At Idlib city’s central hospital, a missile smashed into the road outside last week, leaving a large crater. The strike – which wounded four medical staff and damaged hospital rooms and employee living quarters- was the third near miss in recent months, said surgeon Mohammad Abrash, speaking Friday in a room overlooking still-visible crater outside.
He said medical staff were at the front lines of treating people but that they were overloaded, and medication and medical equipment were in short supply and there were no replacements.
“It’s so difficult for us to work under these conditions,” added 58-year old Abrash, from the nearby town of Saraqeb, before rushing to a basement operating theater to treat an injured man bleeding from wounds to his abdomen.
TRAPPED IN A WARZONE
For the roughly 3 million Syrians packed into Idlib province, crossing the Turkish border to safety is a distant dream.
Hundreds of thousands are sheltered in camps within sight of the concrete border wall which marks the frontier, battling freezing temperatures in recent weeks during which up to ten children died, according to the United Nations.
Along the 30 km (20 mile) road from the border to Idlib city, more settlements are pitched across olive groves and ochre mud fields or perched on rocky outcrops. Some date back to the early years of the war and are now small towns of solid breeze-block dwellings. But others have sprung up in the last two months.
In one camp established in January to absorb the most recently displaced, there are communal tents housing 20 to 40 families each as well as smaller tents, according to camp administrators.
“We came to this camp to shelter from the winter,” said 55-year-old Mamdouh al Darfil, seated outside a 3 meter by 3 meter tent he and some of his family members share at the site, near the town of Maarat Misrin, north of Idlib city. He said he and his nine children had been displaced six times in the course of the conflict.
They first moved into houses abandoned by other families, and then resorted to seeking shelter in tent camps. He and his two married sons now share three tents between them, but he described life there as bare subsistence, with no heating and little health care.
“THEY BOMB AND SCATTER US”
With nowhere else to go, some 270 families have taken refuge at a sports stadium in Idlib city, many living in tents pitched under the concrete terraces, where smoke from fires kindled for warmth mixes with the stench of sewage.
Some families at the stadium are from as far away as the former rebel strongholds in eastern Damascus, 270 km (170 miles) to the south, from where they were displaced years ago. Many have been uprooted several times by the Syrian forces steadily advancing since 2015, when Russia intervened to support Assad, turning the war decisively in his favor.
That includes 38-year old furniture maker Ragheed al-Masri and his four children who were evacuated three years ago from their hometown of Saqba, east of the capital, to Hama province. He said before being evacuated conditions in his once rebel-held hometown had become unbearable, with a blockade by government forces leaving it difficult to get even a kilo of rice.
After leaving Saqba, they had moved north to the town of Maarat al Numan, where they stayed until it was captured by government forces in January. Now, their home is a tent erected outside the sports stadium.
During a visit Thursday, children played among the tents, laundry hung along a fence inside the stadium, and workers unloaded sacks of food from a lorry. Painted on the walls of the stadium, in the northwest of the city which has been under rebel control for five years, are religious slogans reflecting the Islamist agenda of insurgent groups that hold sway in much of the province.
Twenty-year old Shaza Deek said she and her parents and siblings arrived about a week ago. She said her family had been forced to flee their village of Kafr Ruma, south of Idlib, late last year by the Russian-backed Syrian government offensive.
“They threw us from our houses into the cold. We went from house to house,” she said. After sheltering in an Idlib mosque for three weeks, her family moved to the stadium. “They bomb and scatter us, and no one helps us,” she said, noting the exception of Turkey which she said had given aid and support for the rebels.
“I didn’t expect things to reach this situation. In this revolution we lost everything… I wanted to be a doctor, to study. All our dreams are gone.” -Courtesy: Reuters

xosotin chelseathông tin chuyển nhượngcâu lạc bộ bóng đá arsenalbóng đá atalantabundesligacầu thủ haalandUEFAevertonfutebol ao vivofutemaxmulticanaisonbetbóng đá world cupbóng đá inter milantin juventusbenzemala ligaclb leicester cityMUman citymessi lionelsalahnapolineymarpsgronaldoserie atottenhamvalenciaAS ROMALeverkusenac milanmbappenapolinewcastleaston villaliverpoolfa cupreal madridpremier leagueAjaxbao bong da247EPLbarcelonabournemouthaff cupasean footballbên lề sân cỏbáo bóng đá mớibóng đá cúp thế giớitin bóng đá ViệtUEFAbáo bóng đá việt namHuyền thoại bóng đágiải ngoại hạng anhSeagametap chi bong da the gioitin bong da lutrận đấu hôm nayviệt nam bóng đátin nong bong daBóng đá nữthể thao 7m24h bóng đábóng đá hôm naythe thao ngoai hang anhtin nhanh bóng đáphòng thay đồ bóng đábóng đá phủikèo nhà cái onbetbóng đá lu 2thông tin phòng thay đồthe thao vuaapp đánh lô đềdudoanxosoxổ số giải đặc biệthôm nay xổ sốkèo đẹp hôm nayketquaxosokq xskqxsmnsoi cầu ba miềnsoi cau thong kesxkt hôm naythế giới xổ sốxổ số 24hxo.soxoso3mienxo so ba mienxoso dac bietxosodientoanxổ số dự đoánvé số chiều xổxoso ket quaxosokienthietxoso kq hôm nayxoso ktxổ số megaxổ số mới nhất hôm nayxoso truc tiepxoso ViệtSX3MIENxs dự đoánxs mien bac hom nayxs miên namxsmientrungxsmn thu 7con số may mắn hôm nayKQXS 3 miền Bắc Trung Nam Nhanhdự đoán xổ số 3 miềndò vé sốdu doan xo so hom nayket qua xo xoket qua xo so.vntrúng thưởng xo sokq xoso trực tiếpket qua xskqxs 247số miền nams0x0 mienbacxosobamien hôm naysố đẹp hôm naysố đẹp trực tuyếnnuôi số đẹpxo so hom quaxoso ketquaxstruc tiep hom nayxổ số kiến thiết trực tiếpxổ số kq hôm nayso xo kq trực tuyenkết quả xổ số miền bắc trực tiếpxo so miền namxổ số miền nam trực tiếptrực tiếp xổ số hôm nayket wa xsKQ XOSOxoso onlinexo so truc tiep hom nayxsttso mien bac trong ngàyKQXS3Msố so mien bacdu doan xo so onlinedu doan cau loxổ số kenokqxs vnKQXOSOKQXS hôm naytrực tiếp kết quả xổ số ba miềncap lo dep nhat hom naysoi cầu chuẩn hôm nayso ket qua xo soXem kết quả xổ số nhanh nhấtSX3MIENXSMB chủ nhậtKQXSMNkết quả mở giải trực tuyếnGiờ vàng chốt số OnlineĐánh Đề Con Gìdò số miền namdò vé số hôm nayso mo so debach thủ lô đẹp nhất hôm naycầu đề hôm naykết quả xổ số kiến thiết toàn quốccau dep 88xsmb rong bach kimket qua xs 2023dự đoán xổ số hàng ngàyBạch thủ đề miền BắcSoi Cầu MB thần tàisoi cau vip 247soi cầu tốtsoi cầu miễn phísoi cau mb vipxsmb hom nayxs vietlottxsmn hôm naycầu lô đẹpthống kê lô kép xổ số miền Bắcquay thử xsmnxổ số thần tàiQuay thử XSMTxổ số chiều nayxo so mien nam hom nayweb đánh lô đề trực tuyến uy tínKQXS hôm nayxsmb ngày hôm nayXSMT chủ nhậtxổ số Power 6/55KQXS A trúng roycao thủ chốt sốbảng xổ số đặc biệtsoi cầu 247 vipsoi cầu wap 666Soi cầu miễn phí 888 VIPSoi Cau Chuan MBđộc thủ desố miền bắcthần tài cho sốKết quả xổ số thần tàiXem trực tiếp xổ sốXIN SỐ THẦN TÀI THỔ ĐỊACầu lô số đẹplô đẹp vip 24hsoi cầu miễn phí 888xổ số kiến thiết chiều nayXSMN thứ 7 hàng tuầnKết quả Xổ số Hồ Chí Minhnhà cái xổ số Việt NamXổ Số Đại PhátXổ số mới nhất Hôm Nayso xo mb hom nayxxmb88quay thu mbXo so Minh ChinhXS Minh Ngọc trực tiếp hôm nayXSMN 88XSTDxs than taixổ số UY TIN NHẤTxs vietlott 88SOI CẦU SIÊU CHUẨNSoiCauVietlô đẹp hôm nay vipket qua so xo hom naykqxsmb 30 ngàydự đoán xổ số 3 miềnSoi cầu 3 càng chuẩn xácbạch thủ lônuoi lo chuanbắt lô chuẩn theo ngàykq xo-solô 3 càngnuôi lô đề siêu vipcầu Lô Xiên XSMBđề về bao nhiêuSoi cầu x3xổ số kiến thiết ngày hôm nayquay thử xsmttruc tiep kết quả sxmntrực tiếp miền bắckết quả xổ số chấm vnbảng xs đặc biệt năm 2023soi cau xsmbxổ số hà nội hôm naysxmtxsmt hôm nayxs truc tiep mbketqua xo so onlinekqxs onlinexo số hôm nayXS3MTin xs hôm nayxsmn thu2XSMN hom nayxổ số miền bắc trực tiếp hôm naySO XOxsmbsxmn hôm nay188betlink188 xo sosoi cầu vip 88lô tô việtsoi lô việtXS247xs ba miềnchốt lô đẹp nhất hôm naychốt số xsmbCHƠI LÔ TÔsoi cau mn hom naychốt lô chuẩndu doan sxmtdự đoán xổ số onlinerồng bạch kim chốt 3 càng miễn phí hôm naythống kê lô gan miền bắcdàn đề lôCầu Kèo Đặc Biệtchốt cầu may mắnkết quả xổ số miền bắc hômSoi cầu vàng 777thẻ bài onlinedu doan mn 888soi cầu miền nam vipsoi cầu mt vipdàn de hôm nay7 cao thủ chốt sốsoi cau mien phi 7777 cao thủ chốt số nức tiếng3 càng miền bắcrồng bạch kim 777dàn de bất bạion newsddxsmn188betw88w88789bettf88sin88suvipsunwintf88five8812betsv88vn88Top 10 nhà cái uy tínsky88iwinlucky88nhacaisin88oxbetm88vn88w88789betiwinf8betrio66rio66lucky88oxbetvn88188bet789betMay-88five88one88sin88bk88xbetoxbetMU88188BETSV88RIO66ONBET88188betM88M88SV88Jun-68Jun-88one88iwinv9betw388OXBETw388w388onbetonbetonbetonbet88onbet88onbet88onbet88onbetonbetonbetonbetqh88mu88Nhà cái uy tínpog79vp777vp777vipbetvipbetuk88uk88typhu88typhu88tk88tk88sm66sm66me88me888live8live8livesm66me88win798livesm66me88win79pog79pog79vp777vp777uk88uk88tk88tk88luck8luck8kingbet86kingbet86k188k188hr99hr99123b8xbetvnvipbetsv66zbettaisunwin-vntyphu88vn138vwinvwinvi68ee881xbetrio66zbetvn138i9betvipfi88clubcf68onbet88ee88typhu88onbetonbetkhuyenmai12bet-moblie12betmoblietaimienphi247vi68clupcf68clupvipbeti9betqh88onb123onbefsoi cầunổ hũbắn cáđá gàđá gàgame bàicasinosoi cầuxóc đĩagame bàigiải mã giấc mơbầu cuaslot gamecasinonổ hủdàn đềBắn cácasinodàn đềnổ hũtài xỉuslot gamecasinobắn cáđá gàgame bàithể thaogame bàisoi cầukqsssoi cầucờ tướngbắn cágame bàixóc đĩaAG百家乐AG百家乐AG真人AG真人爱游戏华体会华体会im体育kok体育开云体育开云体育开云体育乐鱼体育乐鱼体育欧宝体育ob体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育开云体育开云体育棋牌棋牌沙巴体育买球平台新葡京娱乐开云体育mu88qh88

Leave a Reply