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FAIRFIELD, Conn. (February 8, 2018) — Thousands of Syrian children are being placed in extreme danger by
the escalation in fighting in the opposition-held enclave of Idlib, Save the
Children is warning.
The past 48 hours has seen bombing and shelling intensify across
the region, with numerous reports of fatal attacks on civilian areas. More
than 30 schools supported by Save the Children and its partners in the area
have had to close temporarily due to security fears.
On Tuesday, a camp where several thousand people have fled to
in search of safety was reportedly bombed, according to Save the Children
partner organizations in the area. Hundreds of families, many of whom have
already been displaced and left living in tents that provide no shelter from
bombs or shells, have come under increasing fire and have been left with almost
nowhere left to turn.
Samer* is a father of four who was internally displaced six weeks
ago and now lives in sprawling Atmeh Camp in the far north of Idlib. His
family was caught up in the bombing on Tuesday and he says his children
have been left terrified and trapped.
“At 10 am in the morning, we were sitting in the tents and we
heard the first bomb. We went out to find it was 70 meters away from where we
“The second bomb was to the west, the first one targeted Al
Jazeera camp, the second bomb fell on Al Bayan Camp, 100 meters away from
us. The third one fell near a crossing next to us. Four people were killed in
Al Jazeera camp; two people were killed in Al Bayan Camp.
“There are two children among the six people who were killed. They
were sitting around the heater in the camp, when suddenly a bomb fell on them.
“There is a strange kind of terror among older people and
children, everyone is terrified and panicking. For my children, I took them
away from the camp, all the children left the camp, because they became
terrified. There is fear and crying, it’s a miserable situation.
“We have no heaters, no coal, and now its winter. It’s not summer
time when one can tolerate the temperature, it’s very cold, we are in the
mountains, and it’s very cold. If we were financially secure, we
would buy tents and set them up alone. We wouldn't need a camp or anything -
but there is no money, there is nothing.”
Sonia Khush, Save the Children’s Syria Response
“The situation in Idlib has been going from bad to worse. We have
seen a serious rise in grave attacks that are believed to have taken dozens of
lives in recent days. Children and their families are fleeing in the hope of
finding safety and help, but now the bombs are following them even into the
camps and hospitals. They are fast running out of places to go.
"We need to see an immediate ceasefire in Idlib and across
Syria, so that humanitarian supplies can get to all those in need. More than a
quarter of a million people have fled their homes in the past six weeks, and
every day more people are dying or fleeing.”
*Name changed to protect identity
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