UN concerned about 200 families trapped in Syrian enclave

UN concerned about 200 families trapped in Syrian enclave
Syrian White Helmet civil defense workers extinguishing a fire at a bakery after being hit by a shell from Syrian forces, in the town of Khan Sheikhoun. Photo: Syrian Civil Defense White Helmets via AP.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has said she is concerned about the condition of some 200 families trapped in the last remaining area held by Islamic State in eastern Syria.

Michelle Bachelet said in a statement that the extremists are actively preventing civilians, including women and children, from leaving the tiny area near the border with Iraq, which is currently besieged by US-backed Syrian fighters.

Some 300 militants are mixed in with hundreds of civilians and are refusing to surrender while trying to negotiate an exit with the US-backed forces surrounding them.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor, said some 50 trucks entered the IS-held area, apparently to bring out some of the people trapped inside.

PA

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