February was marked by the continued displacement of thousands in Iraq and Syria, with the Iraqi Security Forces’ offensive in western Mosul forcing more than 28,000 people to flee their homes in late February.
Throughout January cold temperatures and winter conditions put thousands of refugees and other migrants in the Middle East and Europe at risk. At least five fatalities at Europe’s borders with Turkey were reported due to temperatures as low as -14 degrees Celsius, and snowstorms throughout the region.
Throughout December, escalating conflict in Syria and Iraq, coupled with worsening winter conditions saw thousands of people newly displaced and increasingly vulnerable. With at least 6,000 Iraqis fleeing to Syria from escalating conflict in Mosul and more than 40,000 newly internally displaced from this conflict, temperatures as cold as -5 degrees Celsius and winter conditions throughout the region are posing additional challenges for those displaced.
November saw major escalations in conflict in the Middle East, particularly in Aleppo, Syria and Mosul, Iraq, where armed violence intensified, causing significant new displacement. As winter sets in, people on the move face deepening vulnerabilities, particularly those attempting to cross ever-tightening borders both into and out of Syria, such as at Rajm Slebi, where deaths due to exposure to the cold were reported, and the Jordanian-Syrian berm, where cases of hypothermia are expected to increase.
Conflict in Iraq and Syria remained the dominant drivers of mixed migration flows in the Middle East in October. Amid ongoing insecurity in the region, refugees and migrants continue to face significant barriers to movement.