Saturday, August 24, 2019

Between a Wall & the Syrian Army

In Syria hundreds of thousands of civilians are trapped between the concrete border wall with Turkey and approaching Syrian and Russian forces. Eight years after the start of the civil war in Syria fighting is now mainly limited to the north-western province of Idlib, the last stronghold of rebel forces. As the Syrian and Russian forces approach the border fleeing civilians have become trapped against the border wall which has been constructed between Syria and Turkey.

Reuters' article Syrians at the border with Turkey await wars bitter end includes a number of maps which help to illustrate the plight of the civilians desperately being caught up in Russia and Syria's violent attacks. Over recent weeks the Russian and Syrian forces have been launching continuous air attacks on the province of Idlib. The government forces have also been burning orchards and crops. The maps in the Reuters article show the damage being caused by Syrian government and Russian airstrikes on civilian targets, including schools and hospitals.

The maps also show where agricultural fields have been burnt, destroying crops such as wheat and barley. Orchards and olive groves have also been destroyed by government incendiary weapons. Reuters says that in some areas over 30% of cropland has been destroyed. The result has left the fleeing civilians trapped in Idlib with escalating food prices and little to eat. 76% of the civilians trapped against the border with Turkey are women and children.

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