Blaze kills Syrian mother, six children in overcrowded Idlib refugee camp

Blaze kills Syrian mother, six children in overcrowded Idlib refugee camp
A displaced family were killed in a fire in Idlib's Hafs camp the same day a report warned children are traumatised in the province's 'not humanly bearable' conditions.
2 min read
30 May, 2019
Millions have been displaced to Idlib where many live without basic amenities [Getty]
Seven members of a Syrian refugee family were killed in a tragic blaze in a camp in the northern province of Idlib on Wednesday, according to opposition news outlet Zaman al-Wasl.

A mother and her six children all died when their tent caught fire after a gas cylinder exploded in a refugee camp in Hafs camp near the town of Maaret al-Numan.

The majority of the Hafs camp residents were displaced from the town of Sakka, near Ghouta on the outskirts of Damascus, a year ago. The Ghouta region was devastated by weeks of deadly regime bombardment, including alleged chemical weapons attacks, in March and April 2018.

Some three million people have been forcibly displaced to Idlib, an opposition enclave in Syria's northwest that is now severely squeezed for space and resources.

Read more: Syria Weekly: Assad's regime scorches agriculture in Idlib after losing ground

Most of those displaced live in make-shift shelters in camps that lack resources or infrastructure for clean water and heating.

Aid workers in Idlib say the current situation there "is not humanly bearable", according to a new report from the International Rescue Commission.

People in Idlib have been displaced an average of five times since the start of the conflict, the report claims, with 16 percent saying they have been displaced 10 or more times.

The report highlights that children displaced in Idlib are showing increasing signs of severe distress, including unusual crying and screaming, nightmares and sleeplessness.

A recent upsurge in regime aerial bombardment has targeted schools and hospitals, killing at least 265 civilians and displaced almost 200,000 in the past four weeks, according to the the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR).

The United States and Russia are in talks on a "potential way forward" that could see a ceasefire in Idlib and other steps towards peace, in exchange for Syria's international sanctions being lifted, the US envoy for Syria said on Wednesday.

Follow us on Twitter @The_NewArab