Syrian families fleeing Idlib take shelter on the road

Russia-backed regime forces have pounded Syria's last major rebel bastion over the past two months, forcing more than 580,000 people from their homes on to the roads.

Mass exodus

Adverse circumstances have prompted mass exodus of numerous families in Syria's Idlib.

Exhausted from days of driving in search of shelter in northwest Syria, families have been sleeping outside on the streets and using olive groves as a shelter and burning garbage to stay warm.

(Photograph:Reuters)

Struggle for shelter

In the war-hit region of nearly three million people, entire families have headed north in cars piled high with blankets, chairs and pans as they seek to survive the winter.

However, many are struggling to find protection from the cold along the Turkish border, which was closed by Ankara in response to waves of displacement earlier in Syria's nine-year civil war.

(Photograph:AFP)

Repetitive displacement

Some of the people fleeing Idlib have already been displaced more than once, after fleeing battles in other parts of Syria earlier in the conflict.

(Photograph:Reuters)

Mostly women and children

Nearly a million people, mostly women and children, are trying to escape the latest wave of violence in the Idlib region, overwhelming aid agencies.

(Photograph:Reuters)

Humanitarian catastrophe

Entire families are sleeping on the muddy floor with carpets, mattresses and household appliances stacked around them.

Due to the lack of proper protection from the chilly winds, many senior citizens and children have died from the cold.

There are more people than the number of homes available in Idlib.

(Photograph:Reuters)