This week’s Christmas holiday has not lessened the violence in Syria nor has it brought a positive change in negotiations between the Syrian government and opposition groups. As of 25 December, 5,775 Syrians and Palestine refugees seeking safety were being accommodated in UNRWA school buildings and the Agency's Vocational Training Centre in Damascus.
Damascus- Clashes and shelling continue in the Yarmouk refugee camp and UNRWA staff have been advised not to enter for any reason. The Agency’s facilities remain closed.
The neighbourhoods of Khan Dannoun, Dummar, Mezzeh, Ellianss, Jaramana and Khan Eshieh in Damascus were reportedly calm yesterday and UNRWA facilities are operational in these areas.
Clashes and shelling also continue around Sbeineh Camp on Tuesday, but the camp itself remains relatively calm.
Sporadic clashes and explosions took place throughout Monday and Tuesday in Jobar, Qaboun, and Barzah, with reports of people fleeing Qaboun in search of shelter in other areas.
Rukan Al Deen was calm with reports of one explosion near the Salah al-Din mosque in the afternoon. Husseiniyeh and Sit Zeinab camps were both calm but clashes and explosions occurred in the surrounding areas of both camps.
Sounds of mortar fire and helicopter activity can still be heard near the Agency’s Syria Field Office.
UNRWA’s Damascus Training Centre (DTC) continues to house internally displaced persons (IDPs) who are sheltering in the classrooms and dormitories. They continue to receive two meals a day prepared by the Centre’s staff, and blankets and mattresses. The Centre’s clinic is operational and a medical doctor and a nurse treat medical cases there. Because the DTC is filled to capacity, additional IDPs are being re-directed to the Agency’s schools in the surrounding areas, including in Dummar, Jaramanah, Khan Dannoun, Mezzeh, Ramadan and Khan Eshieh camps. Shelter is still a pressing priority and UNRWA is doing its best to accommodate all IDPs.
According to sources at UNRWA, Dera’a city, the camp and surrounding areas are calm and no access restrictions were put in place inside the city for the holidays.
Large-scale electricity cuts are ongoing in Homs, with sporadic shelling throughout the night and sounds of fighter jets and air strikes during the day, all targeting Bab Amr neighbourhood.
In Hama, sporadic clashes continue in the city, although UNRWA facilities were operational as of Monday with staff delivering 458 mattresses to IDPs who arrived from Aleppo.
Latakia is reportedly calm and all UNRWA facilities are operational.
Large-scale electricity and water cuts reported in most parts of Aleppo city, in addition to reports of difficulty finding bread. Clashes and explosions can be heard at night and an uneasy calm during the day with sporadic shelling sounds. Neirab and Ein al Tal camps were reportedly calm on Monday, with residents using alternative roads to move between the camps and city due to armed activities on regular roads. Despite difficulties, all UNRWA facilities are operational. Cash distribution to beneficiaries is ongoing with UNRWA staff distributing aid to 260 families in Ein al Tal.