UN relief wing voices concern over civilians caught in crossfire in Syria’s Raqqa

New York (IINA) � The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) is deeply concerned over the safety and protection of thousands of civilians inside the Syrian city of Raqqa, many of them women and children, who are caught in the crossfire of the ongoing conflict, a UN spokesperson said on Wednesday.

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 in New York.

According to 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.

The offensive to retake Raqqa city from Daesh (also known as ISIS) began two months ago. Ground fighting and airstrikes in and around Raqqa have led to mass displacement and a deterioration of the humanitarian situation inside the city.

Source: International Islamic News Agency