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The humanitarian crisis escalates with airstrikes by the regime in southern Syria



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Fadi Masalmeh has to make decisions that a nurse should never make.

When southern Syria is hit by air strikes, the latest frontline is "We can not help the wounded, and we have to choose whose lives we can save and who we can not," Masalmeh told NBC News Friday by voice message. "I saw people die before me and I could not do anything for them."

The United Nations estimates that at least 46 civilians have been killed and many more injured since June 1

7 as the government continues to launch artillery and air strikes in the rebel-held areas of Deraa province

At least 160,000 people were displaced said the United Nations.

Syrian government forces, backed by the Russian Air Force, attacked the rebels controlled southwest month after defeating the remaining remaining insurgents near the cities of Damascus and Homs

President Bashar al -Assad wants to restore control of a strategically important part of the country on the borders with Jordan and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights (19659004) Assad pushes for the offensive despite warnings from the United States that have tried to maintain a de-escalation deal Having negotiated with Moscow in the southwest of last year

Washington had warned Assad of serious consequences, but there was no sign of action to stop him.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday that Russian President Vladimir Putin and President Donald Trump

& # 39; GHOST CITY & # 39;

Masalmeh's wife and four children are among the thousands who have fled to the Jordanian border because of the escalating conflict. He has stayed behind and continues to work in the hospital near the center of the conflict.

"Everyone is running for their lives," Masalmeh said.

"There is no life here in Deraa, the once beautiful place turned to a ghost town," he said.

Jordan, which already hosts more than 650,000 registered Syrian refugees, said it will not open the border for more.

The country has talks between rebel factions and Moscow over an agreement that would end the violence in exchange for the return of state rule in the Deraa region.

Russia has been supporting air strikes since joining the war in 2015 and has played a role in brokering surrender deals.

  Image: SYRIA CONFLICT
Syrians driven out of bombardment by government troops in the southern province of Daraa drive in a truck near the city of Shayyah. Mohazad Abazeed / AFP – Getty Images

Motaz Alhashesh, who lives in Tal Shihab north of Deraa, told NBC News that the ongoing shelling in the region was the most violent he has seen since the outbreak of war [19659004] "The fighters bombard 24 hours non-stop," said the 30-year-old. "I believe the regime will continue the military operation until we are all killed or (expelled)."

Alhashesh, who works for a local humanitarian organization, said it feels like the international community has given up The region and the government are pulling it out by pushing for a "brutal military operation against the people".

"Leaving is probably the only solution to staying alive and saving our families," he said.

A spokeswoman For the United Nations Office on Humanitarian Affairs, the majority of civilians fleeing the region said they are heading for the Jordanian border and many are stranded in a desert area that has limited access to humanitarian aid.

including hospitals, between June 24 and 27, said the UN. In several cities of the province houses and civil infrastructure were destroyed.

Deliveries to the newly displaced people and transboundary transports from Jordan remain open, but the UN said that two planned convoys have been postponed for security concerns

The World Food Program said the fighting had disrupted the convoys that were arrive to the region, the last delivery is on Wednesday.

Dina El-Kassaby, regional communications officer for the WFP, told NBC News that despite the decline, food rations have reached 45,000 people and supplies are being collected in anticipation of rising demand.

"We are ready to help anyone, who desperately needs, but the number continues to grow," she said. "Many of these people who have been displaced have been evicted several times and they are down."

While the WFP prioritizes the nutritional needs of children in particular, El-Kassaby told others UN partners focus on providing protection to the displaced.

"People tell us that they hide in the open air, under trees or in crowded makeshift shelters, and those lucky enough to find a tent share with four or five other families," she said.

Israel Defense Forces said in a Friday statement that they had distributed supplies, including 300 tents, food, medicine and clothing, to people who had fled to the Golan Heights near the Israeli border

as " living in poor conditions "and" often without access to water, electricity, food sources or other basic needs "

But going to Israel is not an option. Israeli troops do not allow Syrians to enter the country, although they are still required to provide more aid as needed.

Israel has refused to flee refugees from the conflict in Syria, a country in which it is officially at war. Israel also accuses Iran of stationing military bases and personnel in Syria as a launch pad for attacks on Israel.


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