At least 29 children have died fleeing the fighting with the ISIS jihadist militia in the winter cold in eastern Syria. The refugee camp Al-Hol now has tens of thousands of people to be cared for.
“The situation in Al-Hol is heartbreaking,” said Syria’s WHO representative Elizabeth Hoff. “Children are dying while their families want to move to safety.” The situation in the refugee camp in northern Syria has dramatically deteriorated over the past two months. The population has risen from 10,000 to almost 33,000 people.
Thousands of newly arrived refugees had recently spent several nights in icy temperatures with no blankets and heating in the open air, the WHO reported. Many of them were walking for days in the bitter winter cold or spent days in open trucks, the WHO said. In addition, the refugees often had to endure hours without protection in the desert, while the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) controlled their papers and looking for jihadists.
The SDF is currently working with the support of the international anti-IS coalition against the last IS bastion on the Iraqi border. Although the jihadists control only a few square kilometers there, they are fiercely resisting.