Fighting in Syria's western Hama province displaced an estimated 100,000 people between Aug. 28 and Sept. 5, the United Nations said on Wednesday, citing the Syrian Arab Red Crescent and the governor of the province.
Syrian rebels launched an offensive last week in northern Hama, an area of strategic importance to President Bashar al-Assad that is home to loyalist towns populated by minority Christians and Alawites. Rebels rapidly captured the town of Halfaya. Pro-Assad forces have hit back with heavy air strikes.
Many people had fled from the fighting towards Hama city and neighbouring villages, as well as north into Idlib province, the U.N. said.
There were originally about 4,500 families in the town of Halfaya, of which 2,800 remain trapped by the fighting while the rest managed to flee, the U.N. report said.