U.N. Says 100,000 Fled Syria in August
More than 100,000 Syrians fled their country last month, a sudden acceleration of the exodus prompted by 18 months of conflict, the United Nations said Tuesday.
The surge coincided with a sharp increase in the carnage in Syria, as the government of President Bashar al-Assad began using its air force against towns and neighborhoods across the country where opponents of his rule have found support. The resulting flood of displaced people, mainly in the last two weeks of August, accounted for more than 40 percent of the 234,000 refugees who have registered for United Nations support since the fighting began. Tens of thousands more have fled but have not registered.
“It’s quite an astonishing number,” Melissa Fleming, a spokeswoman for the Office of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, told reporters on Tuesday at the agency’s headquarters in Geneva. She said it indicated “a very precarious and violent situation inside the country.”