100,000 flee Syria as August civilian death toll hits new high
The number of civilians who have fled Syria's civil war has almost doubled to more than 230,000 following the conflict's deadliest month yet, the UN refugee agency said yesterday, as it warned that number would rise further still.
Weeks of heavy fighting in the commercial hub of Aleppo and increased use of airpower by government forces led to the departure of 103,416 people during August – almost doubling the total number of registered refugees.
Activists from the Local Coordination Committees of Syria counted 4,933 civilian victims during August, making it the highest monthly death toll in the country's 17 month-long civil war.
The UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) said yesterday that 235,000 people have sought asylum in neighbouring countries since the beginning of the conflict. It added that the number is likely to be much higher as many have not registered with the agency or have other means of support.
The dramatic increase in the number of people leaving the country was described as "astonishing" yesterday by UNHCR spokeswoman Melissa Fleming. "This is a significant escalation in refugee movement," she told a news briefing in Geneva. "This probably points to a very precarious... situation in the country."
Ariane Rummery, another spokeswoman with the agency, said the UNHCR did "not see any indication" that the number of people fleeing will fall. "Many of them need everything, including shelter, healthcare, food, money and clothes," she told The Independent from Jordan, where more than 1,000 Syrians are entering the country every day.
The figures were released on the same day as the head of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) met with the Syrian president Bashar al-Assad in an effort to improve the flow of humanitarian aid to civilians still in the country. The ICRC described the meeting in Damascus as "positive."
Migrants crossing the Mediterranean: Pope Francis joins calls for EU action on boat refugees
Yemen crisis: Meet the child soldiers who have forsaken books for Kalashnikovs
Alan Rickman admits editing 'terrible' script with friends in Pizza Hut behind backs of writers on Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
Isis in Afghanistan: Group claims responsibility for Jalalabad suicide bombing that killed 35
- 2 Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 3 Professional big game hunter Ian Gibson crushed to death by elephant during hunt
- 4 Farmer told to tear down mock-Tudor castle after hiding construction behind hay bales
£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...
£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...