Parts of northern Syria have been turned into virtual ghost towns as residents flee the violence from a 16-month old uprising.
Footage obtained by the Reuters news agency shows lines of abandoned homes and shops in the towns of Atareb and Sarmada in Idlib province.
Many residents have fled across the border into Turkey.
“Life is almost non-existent due to the continued shelling and mobilisation of sharpshooters on rooftops in Atareb. The army is in the area and terrorising residents. Those people who have stayed behind are unable to leave the area due to poverty caused by al-Assad’s troops,” said resident Udai Adbel Kareem.
At a camp for Syrian refugees at Arsal in Lebanon, families continue to arrive every day, often with the clothes they are wearing and the few personal items they can carry.
The United Nation’s World Food Programme has introduced a new voucher scheme to help new arrivals to buy essential supplies in local grocery shops.
The UN refugee agency forecasts that nearly 200,000 people will flee Syria this year, forcing them to double their aid funding requirement to 110 million euros.