"We are seeing a massive displacement inside Syria," Panos Moumtzis, the United Nations regional coordinator for Syria, said Monday. "From January to April, there were over 920,000 newly displaced people," he continued. "This was the highest displacement in that short period of time we have seen since the conflict started."
This new wave of internal displacement brings the total refugee population inside Syria to about 6.2 million, while another 5.6 million Syrians are refugees outside their country's borders. The last widely accepted death toll estimate was 470,000 killed in the conflict as of 2016; subsequent estimates put it as high as 511,000 and as low as 188,000. Syria's total population in 2010, before the civil war began, was about 20 million.
Moumtzis highlighted recent escalation in fighting and airstrikes in and near the city of Idlib as particular cause for concern. Idlib is supposed to be a de-escalation zone, and it is already serving as a temporary home to civilians displaced from Aleppo. For those living in Idlib now, "there is no other Idlib to take them out to," Moumtzis said. "Really, this is the last location. There is no other location to further move them." Bonnie Kristian