World Bulletin / News Desk
"I am gravely concerned for the civilian population caught in the crossfire in South West Syria, including airstrikes and heavy shelling. An estimated 750,000 lives are in danger," UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said in a statement on Thursday on the situation in southwestern Syria.
"More than 320,000 people are now displaced and most are living in dire and insecure conditions, including some 60,000 people camped at the Nasib/Jaber border crossing with Jordan," Grandi said.
Noting that the fighting in the border area was life-threatening and the Syrian civilians were seeking safety in neighboring Jordan, Grandi said: "Given the immediate dangers, I am advocating for granting temporary refuge in Jordan to those in need of safety and for the international community to provide immediate and substantive support to Jordan, in a spirit of solidarity and responsibility sharing."
"The situation in Daraa appears to be worsening, with escalating attacks that are heavily impacting civilians. We urge all parties to the conflict to protect civilians in southwestern Syria, and to protect those attempting to flee," Liz Throssell, UN human rights office spokeswoman said on Tuesday.
According to the UN, this is the largest population displacement in southern Syria since the start of the war in 2011.In the last several days, Daraa has been the target of intense air and ground attacks by the Bashar al-Assad regime and its allies, who have advanced deep into Daraa’s eastern countryside, capturing the towns of Busra al-Harir and Nahtah.
Over 100 civilians have been killed and thousands displaced since the regime offensive began two weeks ago.
Following peace talks held last year in Kazakh capital Astana, Daraa was designated a “de-escalation zone” in which acts of aggression are expressly prohibited.