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UN: Month of fighting in Syria’s Daraa displaces 38,000

Fighting between government forces and former rebels in the Syrian province of Daraa al-Balad has displaced more than 38,000 people over the past month, the United Nations says, as truce talks falter.

Daraa, retaken by government forces in 2018, has emerged as a new flashpoint in recent weeks as government forces tightened control over Daraa al-Balad, a southern district of the provincial capital that is considered a hub for former rebel fighters.

Clashes, including artillery exchanges, between the two sides since late July have marked the biggest challenge yet to the Russian-brokered deal that returned the southern province to government control but allowed rebels to stay on in some areas.

Russian-sponsored truce talks launched in the wake of the latest fighting have made little headway as the government has stepped up its campaign to root out remaining rebel fighters from Daraa al-Balad.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says that 38,600 internally displaced persons are registered in and around Daraa, with most having fled from Daraa al-Balad.

“This includes almost 15,000 women, over 3,200 men and elderly and over 20,400 children,” OCHA says.

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