UNITED NATIONS, March 12 (Xinhua) -- The UN chief is "extremely concerned for safety and protection of civilians" in Al Baghouz, the last enclave of Islamic State (IS) in Syria, where "at least 50 civilians" have been killed in recent air strikes, his spokesman said on Tuesday.
"We are extremely concerned for safety and protection of civilians that may still be trapped in the last Da'esh-held (IS) enclave of Al Baghouz in Southern rural Deir ez-Zor Governorate in Syria," said Stephane Dujarric, the spokesman for Antonio Guterres.
"Following an offensive (Monday) on Al Baghouz, there are reports of at least 50 civilians killed and dozens injured by air strikes, most of those injured are children and women," Dujarric told reporters during a regular briefing. "The attacks are reported to have taken place while civilians were attempting to flee the area."
"The UN reiterates its call on all parties to this conflict and those with influence over them to take all measures to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure, in line with International Humanitarian and Human Rights Law," he said.
For weeks published reports have said the fall of Al Baghouz is imminent, yet the enclave, although battered, stands with its remaining inhabitants, mostly IS fighters, being the targets of coalition air strikes and Kurdish-led troops.