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UN observers alerted to Syria violence escalation

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UN observers alerted to Syria violence escalation


The United Nations has warned about a major escalation in Syria’s civil war, due to continuing fighting in the second city of Aleppo.

More than 200,000 people are estimated to have left the area in recent days.

The worst of the recent violence has been centred in the Salaheddine district.

Sausan Ghousheh, the UN observer mission spokeswoman, is concerned that Syrian rebels in Aleppo are now in possession of heavy weapons including tanks.

“On all fronts we are extremely concerned about the situation,” she said.

“We are calling on all parties to exercise utmost restraint; and we’re reminding them of their obligations under international humanitarian law, which is to protect civilians mainly, to distinguish between civilians and combatants in this conflict,” Ghousheh continued.

A team of UN observers visited the capital Damascus ahead of their withdrawal later this month. Monitors talked to residents of Jaramana, where seven people were reportedly killed on Tuesday.

Hundreds of Syrian refugees continue to pour over the borders with Iraq, Turkey and Jordan every day. A newly opened camp in the Jordanian town of Mafraq can accommodate up to 150,000 refugees.

Those staying at the Zaatari camp, which is located in the desert, say conditions are harsh with a lack of drinking water and electricity amid burning temperatures.

Jordan has called for the international community to help shoulder the cost of providing assistance.

Two kilometres from its border with Syria, Turkey’s army has begun tank exercises, amid fears that a group linked to Kurdish militants are operating in northern Syria.

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