Thousands flee Islamic State for already crowded camp in Syria: UN

By Agencies Source:Xinhua Published: 2019/2/23 16:59:00

The United Nations and its partners at Al-Hol camp in Syria braced for thousands of evacuees fleeing from fighting in the area of Hajin in eastern Syria, a UN spokesman said on Thursday.

"The United Nations and partners are continuing to scale up their efforts to accommodate and provide assistance to the people arriving at Al-Hol camp," said Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. "Its population is already at maximum capacity, with some 41,000 people living there, including over 30,000 who have arrived since December."

Dujarric also told reporters at a regular briefing that a "transit point" has been set up between Hajin and Al-Hol "to provide assistance for the arduous journey to the camp."

As fighting in the areas of Hajin along the Euphrates River in Syria's Deir Ezzour governorate appears to reach its final stages, he said, "thousands of women, children and men are expected to be evacuated and move towards Al-Hol camp in Al Hasakeh governorate in the coming days."

He said some people on the move "have been trapped in Da'esh-held (Islamic State) areas with limited or no access to health services, basic goods and humanitarian assistance. Many are arriving in critical condition, with at least 61 children having died during the journey out of Hajin or shortly after arriving in Al-Hol camp."

Hajin was one of the last towns the Islamic State held as it is being pushed out of its remaining "caliphate" in Syria.

"The United Nations continues to call on all parties to take every possible measure to protect civilians and ensure the displaced have access to assistance and protection services, including emergency healthcare as they leave Hajin," the spokesman said.

Posted in: MID-EAST

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