The United Nations warns that fighting in northwest Syria could “end in a bloodbath” and has again called for a ceasefire.
Moscow meanwhile has denied reports of a mass flight of civilians from a Russian-led Syrian government offensive.
According to Reuters, Syrian troops backed by Russian air power have been battling since December to eliminate the last rebel strongholds in the region in a war that has killed an estimated 400,000 Syrians, and left much of the country in ruins.
The latest offensive in the regions of Aleppo and Idlib has uprooted nearly 1 million people who have fled clashes to seek sanctuary further north, near the Turkish border.
Jens Laerke, spokesman for the U.N. humanitarian agency OCHA, told a news briefing in Geneva:
“We call for an immediate ceasefire to prevent further suffering and what we fear may end in a bloodbath. The front lines and relentless violence continue to move closer to these areas which are packed with displaced people, with bombardments increasingly affecting displacement sites and their vicinity.”