|UNITED NATIONS, Jan. 4, 2018 -- The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) remained deeply concerned about the protection and well-being of tens of thousands of civilians in northeastern Hama and southern Idleb governorates in Syria, following increased hostilities, said a UN spokesman on Wednesday.
The violence has reportedly resulted in scores of deaths and injuries and displacement in the areas, Farhan Haq, UN deputy spokesman, told reporters.
On Tuesday, seven people were reportedly killed and at least 18 others injured after an airstrike hit the Khan Elsobol town in southern rural Idleb. On the same day, 25 people were reportedly injured and several shops and facilities were damaged when shelling hit the main vegetable market in Jisr-Ash-Shugur city in western rural Idleb. Further airstrikes and shelling incidents were reported in the southern countryside of the governorate, said Haq.
The United Nations and its partners are coordinating the humanitarian response in the area through cross-border operations from Turkey, he said, adding that priority needs include shelter, food, medical supplies, water and sanitation and other humanitarian assistance.
"The United Nations reminds all parties to the conflict of the legal obligation to take constant care to spare civilians and civilian objects," he said.
The United Nations is also extremely concerned over a recent string of attacks on healthcare facilities inside Syria. On New Year's Eve, a local hospital in the Idleb governorate was reportedly damaged by an airstrike, while one day earlier a medical warehouse belonging to an international nongovernmental organization was reportedly damaged by barrel bombs, he said.
"We continue to call on all the parties to the conflict to end the destruction of hospitals and other civilian infrastructure that is essential for the civilian population, and to respect their obligations under international humanitarian law and international human rights law."