Syria’s southern province of Daraa has suddenly experienced a surge of violence after rebel forces have launched a full-scale offensive dubbed ‘Death over humiliation’, causing much concern for the local population and the United Nations.
The Office of the UN Secretary General is “concerned” by the escalating situation in Daraa where over 9,000 residents have fled their homes according to Farhan Haq, the deputy spokesman for the UN Secretary General.
Most of the refugees have escaped to nearby farms or villages southeast of Daraa city; regrettably, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) anticipated thousands more would flee in the coming days if clashes did not grind to a halt.
The Daraa rebel offensive is led by two insurgent coalitions, namely Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham and Southern Front. The former is composed of newly merged jihadist factions while the latter consists mostly of moderate Islamist groups.
Around 150,000 non-combattants live in Daraa which was one of the first cities in Syria to witness demonstrations in early 2011.