More than 38,000 people fled the violence in northwest Syria after pro-government forces bombarded the rebel-held areas in the region. According to the United Nations, hundreds and thousands of people fled the rebel-held west Aleppo province between January 15 and January 19 after the bombardment intensified in the area. UN humanitarian affairs office (OCHA) spokesperson David Swanson said that the displaced are heading towards Idlib province, the territory held by Turkish-backed rebel forces.
United Kingdom-based war monitor, Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that most of the bombardments carried out by pro-government forces were from ally Russia. Moscow, however, has denied launching any combat operations in the region since it agreed on a ceasefire with Turkey that came into effect earlier this month. The observatory said that Russian forces carried out bombardments in the Aleppo province on Friday without causing any casualties. According to media reports, the latest humanitarian crisis came after more than 3,58,000 civilians had to flee the region in December last year when bombardments in the region intensified.
An OCHA report on the current situation stated, "The hostilities in northwest Syria continue to impact heavily on civilians who have endured nine years of crisis, violence, multiple displacements, and economic downturn. The humanitarian situation, particularly in the Idleb de-escalation area, continues to deteriorate as a result of the hostilities that escalated in late 2019. From 1 December 2019 to 14 January 2020, almost 350,000 people were displaced in northwest Syria, mostly from southern parts of Idleb area, 80 percent of whom are women and children."
"Many fled their homes within the space of hours without any belongings while others managed to take with them what they needed to survive, believing that they would not be coming back. The majority of those newly displaced have stayed within the Idleb area, moving to either urban centres such as Idleb city or Ariha or to areas that already have significant IDP populations such as Dana, Maaret Tamsrin and Atareb. Some 45,000 newly displaced individuals chose to move to areas in northern Aleppo governorate to seek safety and to reach services," the report further added.