UN voices concern about civilians caught in crossfire in Syria’s Raqqa city

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UNITED NATIONS, Aug 10 (APP): The United Nations humanitarian wing is
deeply concerned about the safety and protection of the thousands of civilians inside
Syria’s Raqqa city, many of them women and children, who are caught in the crossfire of
the ongoing conflict, a UN spokesperson has said.
The humanitarian community is assisting displaced people and host
communities in at least 46 sites, camps or areas of high concentration of internally
displaced people in the area, and they are reaching over 263,000 people with some form
of assistance in July, Spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters at the noon briefing at
UN Headquarters in New York.
He added that assistance includes various types of food, including daily
rations of bread, medicines and medical supplies, as well as nutrition assistance.
U.S.-backed Syrian Kurdish and Arab rebel forces offensive to retake
Raqqa city from ISIL/Da’esh began two months ago. Ground fighting and airstrikes in and
around the city have led to mass displacement and a deterioration of the humanitarian
situation inside the city.
According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
(OCHA), an estimated 10,000 to 25,000 people remain trapped in the city, although
exact figures remain difficult to verify due to the situation on the ground.
Access to Raqqa is not currently possible for the UN, due to the
fighting on the ground, Dujarric said, reminding all military actors of their obligations to
protect civilians and ensure humanitarian access, in line with international humanitarian
law.