World Bulletin/News Desk
Syrians are pouring across the borders to escape fighting in their homeland and diarrhoeal disease has broken out in rural areas near Damascus, U.N. aid agencies said on Friday.
More than 170,000 Syrians have been registered in the neighbouring countries of Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey, the U.N. refugee agency said.
Some 3,500 Syrians fleeing the northern areas of Aleppo, Azaz, Idlib and Latakia reached Turkey's Hatay and Kilis provinces between Tuesday and Wednesday, spokesman Adrian Edwards of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said.
"There has been a further sharp rise in the number of Syrians fleeing to Turkey," Edwards told a news briefing.
"There are now almost 65,000 Syrians in nine camps in Turkey, though not all yet formally registered. To put this in perspective, about 40 percent arrived in August."
Overnight, more than 1,000 Syrians arrived in Jordan, Edwards said. The UNHCR is working to improve the ratio of people to toilets - currently 40 to one - in Za'atri camp which holds nearly 8,000 of some 47,000 refugees registered in Jordan.
The humanitarian situation in Syria has deteriorated as fighting escalates, cutting off civilians from food supplies, health care and other assistance, aid agencies say.
"Fighting continues in and around other cities in addition to Aleppo, including Homs, Damascus, Deir al-Zor, Idlib and Deraa," said Marianne Gasser, head of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)'s delegation in Syria.
"Wherever possible, the Syrian Arab Red Crescent helps those trapped in the fighting by evacuating the sick and wounded and by providing emergency aid," she said in a statement.
In recent days, Red Crescent staff distributed aid to 25,000 displaced staying in 62 schools in Damascus, as well as food, mattresses and hygiene kits in cities including Aleppo and Homs.
Some 1.2 million people are uprooted within the country, many staying in schools or other public buildings, UNHCR quoted the U.N. regional humanitarian relief coordinator as saying.
U.N. humanitarian chief Valerie Amos, ending a visit to Syria, said on Thursday up to 2.5 million people needed aid in the country, where President Bashar al-Assad's forces have been fighting rebels seeking his overthrow for 17 months.
There has also been an outbreak of diarrhoea among residents in part of the province of Rural Damascus because the water supply has been contaminated by sewage, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said.
"In one pocket of Rural Damascus there are 103 suspected cases of e.coli. Laboratory testing is still going on," Richard Brennan, director of WHO's emergency risk management and humanitarian response department, told Reuters. "It is due to contamination of the water supply."
"We have heard of other pockets (of diarrhoeal disease) in other areas of Rural Damascus, but have no details," he said.
Sixty-one children under the age of 10 are among the 103 cases discovered by health workers, WHO spokeswoman Fadela Chaib said. Children are particularly vulnerable to diarrhoeal diseases, which require treatment including hydration and antibiotics.
"We know from Syrian authorities that an estimated 38 hospitals and 149 other clinics have been either substantially damaged or destroyed, which clearly worsens the access to health care," Brennan told a news briefing.
The ICRC said its experts were working on water systems in Aleppo, Damascus, Rural Damascus, Deir al-Zor and Homs.
Key issues will be discussed in face to face peace talks between Yemen's warring parties
Unofficial, incomplete results from Iran's parliamentary runoff election show 33 to 40 of the 68 seats being contested went to allies of President Hassan Rouhani
Russia's state-run TASS reports US and Russia agree on 72-hour cease-fire in Latakia starting just after midnight Saturday
Syria’s Kurdish National Council slams PYD parading dead bodies of FSA fighters as 'brutal and barbaric'
'The violence is soaring back to the levels we saw prior to the cessation of hostilities,' UN human rights chief says
'This announcement came after a request from the Americans and the Russians, who met in Geneva to calm down the situation in Damascus and Latakia'
In the first four months of the year, authorities deported 14,400 expats, compared with 26,600 in the whole of 2015
Russian and Syrian warplanes have intensified attacks against civilians in Aleppo’s opposition-controlled areas
'The persistent failure of the Security Council to refer the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court is an example of the most shameful form of realpolitik,' Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein says
Iranians has begun voting on Friday in a second round of parliamentary elections with allies of President Hassan Rouhani seeking to wrest seats from hardliners.
Sheikh Ahmed Bin Jassim al-Thani proposes free trade agreement involving Turkey and Arab countries
'l could not in any way express how high the stakes are in the next hours and days,' head of UN humanitarian efforts says
'It's no secret that the Syrian army has prepared this decisive battle with its allies. It will not take long to begin, nor to finish,' a pro-regime daily says
The new amendments allow the king to choose his successor, the judiciary's chief and the head of the constitutional council
'The Syrian cessation of hostilities is in great danger and could collapse at any time,' says UN envoy on Syria