BEIRUT, LEBANON (10:40 P.M.) – The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) announced on Tuesday evening that the total number of displaced people in southern Syria has risen to 330,000.
According to the statement released by the UNHCR, the increased violence in Syria’s southwestern region has resulted in the largest displacement of people since the start of the conflict.
A number of civilians are also reported to have been killed in the hostilities and many more injured, said Andrej Mahecic on Tuesday, a spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
He said the agency was “deeply concerned by the escalation of fighting” and called on those involved “to take all necessary measures to safeguard civilian lives, protect civilian infrastructure and allow freedom of movement as required under international humanitarian and human rights laws.”
The UNHCR says that most of the displaced people are trapped on the borders of Israel and Jordan.
According to reports, at least twelve children, two women, and one elderly man, have died in the past few days close to the Jordanian border due to scorpion bites, dehydration and disease.
Elizabeth Throssell, a spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), appealed for the safety of those trapped at the border.
The UNHCR has called on Jordan to open its border and allow displaced people into their country.
“We call on the international community, in particular countries of the region with the financial ability to host large numbers of refugees, to take in fleeing civilians from Syria … We call on the Jordanian Government to keep its border open and for other countries in the region to step up and receive the fleeing civilians,” they added.