Syrian Refugee Total Passes 3 Million in 'Biggest Humanitarian Emergency of Our Era'
The Syrian civil war has caused the displacement of at least a million people in the last year, adding to a total of more than 3 million that have fled the country since the conflict began, according to new figures released by the United Nations agency for refugees (UNHCR).
The figures indicate the mass exodus of one in every eight Syrians, vying to escape the worsening conflict in their home country where reports of atrocities committed by Islamic State extremists — including public executions, staged crucifixions and beheadings — are emerging almost daily.
"The Syria crisis has become the biggest humanitarian emergency of our era, yet the world is failing to meet the needs of refugees and the countries hosting them," the UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres said from the agency's headquarters in Geneva.
"A further 6.5 million are displaced within Syria. Over half of those uprooted are children," a UNHCR statement added.
Islamic State militants are waging a deadly jihadist war in the region, which took a sharp turn in June when the group declared an Islamic caliphate over the areas of land it occupies in both Syria and Iraq. Syrian civilians are shouldering the full impact of the brutal civil conflict that began in March 2011 and has left more than 190,000 dead so far.