Forcibly displaced civilians living in camps in Syria's northwestern Idlib province are struggling amid scorching temperatures.
The temperatures in Idlib province, which shelters hundreds of thousands of displaced civilians who have fled intense attacks by the Bashar Assad regime, reached 43 degrees Celsius (109 degrees Fahrenheit) this summer, bringing life to a standstill.
On some days, the temperature shot up to 50 degrees Celsius, making it extremely difficult for the inhabitants of tents exposed directly to sunlight.
Typically, summer spans the months of June to August in Syria.
Dr. Ahmad Hamdam, who works at a hospital of the Syrian American Medical Society, a nonprofit organization working in Idlib, told Anadolu Agency (AA) that the scorching temperatures cause various diseases, such as food poisoning and heat cramps among children.
"Infants are particularly at risk. They catch diseases such as cholera and tachycardia or have difficulties in breathing," he added.
Hamza Dibo, the refugee leader of a camp in the Harbanush village of Idlib, noted that everyone living in the camps needs basic living materials.
Although the relief agencies provide 28 liters of water per family every day, Dibo said: "We can't find enough water to drink."
"We demand that relief agencies increase water support to civilians during the extremely hot summer days. On hot days, we have no shelter other than tents and the shade of trees," he added.
Ibrahim Rahmun, a resident, said: "The camp residents suffer from many diseases such as diarrhea, tonsillitis, intestinal inflammation and chest infections."
Syrians are facing increasing suffering and hardships due to the deadly consequences of over a decade of war, a new United Nations report said recently, as the body warned of a risk of “returning to larger-scale fighting.”
Syrian regime airstrikes over Idlib province earlier this month killed seven civilians and wounded at least 12, activists and first responders said.
The Syrian opposition, which now holds only a tiny sliver of the country, blamed Russian-backed warplanes for the attack. Moscow has been a major ally of Assad’s forces and helped turn the tide in the country’s civil war in his favor.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), which has a network of activists on the ground, gave the casualty figures, saying a total of 14 airstrikes were launched, killing seven people. It gave a higher toll for the wounded, saying 15 people were hurt.
Syrian Civil Defense volunteers also said in a statement that the area in the opposition enclave was also hit with surface-to-surface missiles and cluster munitions. The sources of the airstrikes could not be independently verified, nor the targets of the attacks.
Rescuers rushed to remove the bodies from under the rubble of a workshop in the village of Hafsarja.
”We wanted to try to save the wounded, but we couldn’t because the jets were in the sky and kept launching attacks,” said Mohammad al-Mohammad, a resident of the area.
The northwestern Idlib province is Syria's last opposition enclave. The province is mainly under the control of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), an al-Qaida-linked group, while northern Aleppo province is under the control of Turkish-backed opposition groups.
In September 2018, Türkiye and Russia agreed to turn Idlib into a de-escalation zone where acts of aggression are expressly prohibited.
More than 90% of the population in that area live in extreme poverty, relying on humanitarian aid to survive.