Clashes in Syria’s Hasakeh displace 60,000: UN

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Clashes between the Islamic State jihadist group and government troops in the northeast Syrian city of Hasakeh have displaced an estimated 60,000 people, a UN agency said on Thursday.

The UN office for the Coordination of Humanitarian affairs (OCHA) said at least 50,000 people had been displaced within Hasakeh while another 10,000 had fled north towards the town of Amuda.

A Syrian OCHA official told AFP that the displaced included ethnic Arabs and Kurds.

IS jihadists captured two southern neighbourhoods in Hasakeh, the capital of the province by the same name, on Thursday, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor said.

OCHA, which quotes reports from local partners, added that “2,000 civilians remain trapped in the concerned neighbourhoods.”

“Should the security situation continue to deteriorate, it is estimated that up to 200,000 people may try to flee Hasakeh city in the coming hours and days, most likely towards Amuda and Qamishli” to the northeast, OCHA said.

Hasakeh had a pre-war population of 300,000, including Muslim Arabs, Kurds, and Christians, according to OCHA estimates.

UN agencies and their partners in Qamishli were preparing for an influx of displaced people on Thursday, OCHA said.

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