|UNITED NATIONS, Jan.19,2018-- Fighting in Syria's northwestern province of Idlib has displaced last month more than 200,000 people -- some for the second time during the war -- impacting support for civilians, the chief UN spokesman said on Thursday.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs is alarmed by continued reports of fighting in Syria's Idlib Governorate, which has resulted in the displacement of over 200,000 persons in the area since Dec. 15, Stephane Dujarric, the spokesman, told reporters at UN Headquarters.
The fighting has impacted civilian infrastructure, particularly medical facilities, he said. "We're seeing that people are often twice displaced."
There were reports that attacks between Jan. 5 and Jan. 8 rendered three primary health care facilities inoperable, Dujarric said. "Two ambulances were reportedly destroyed and a physician injured by explosive devices in the vicinity of Beir Jia'an."
He reminded all parties of their obligation of the need to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure, including medical facilities and medical workers, as required by international humanitarian law and human rights law.
The spokesman said UN Deputy Special Envoy for Syria, Ramzy Ezzeldin Ramzy, is in Damascus, where he met Thursday with the Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Feysal Mekdad.
After the session in Damascus, Ramzy told reporters that the Syrian government would be participating in a special meeting in the framework of the UN-facilitated Geneva political process on Jan. 25-26.
Owing to logistical reasons, the special meeting will be held on UN premises in Vienna, Austria.