BEIRUT (AP) — The U.N. children's agency says a battle for Syria's Idlib province between government forces and the rebels could affect the lives of more than 1 million children, many of whom live in refugee camps.
UNICEF says food, water, and medicine are already in short supply in the largely rural northwestern province, now home to over 1 million Syrians who have been displaced from their homes by government offensives across the country.
The agency says a battle for Idlib, the last major bastion for Syria's political and military opposition, would exacerbate an already dire humanitarian situation, and potentially displace 350,000 children.
Syria's government dropped leaflets across the province Thursday urging residents to reconcile with its rule. Officials have warned that government forces will take back the province by force if necessary.