15 children freeze to death in refugee camps
Severe weather conditions in Syria have killed at least 15 displaced children seeking refuge, over half of whom were in a camp under US control.
Unicef said eight of them had died as a result of the cold in Rukban camp in south-eastern Syria and seven others during the displacement from the jihadist bastion of Hajin, further north.
The isolated desert camp is situated on Syria's border with Jordan, which has denied those seeking refuge entry for fear Isil infiltrators may be hiding among civilians, and is close to the US's military base at al-Tanf.
"Freezing temperatures and harsh living conditions in Rukban are increasingly putting children's lives at risk," Geert Cappelaere, Unicef regional director, said.
"In just one month, at least eight children - most of them under four months and the youngest only one hour old -have died," he said.
Conditions at Rukban camp, where 80pc of the 45,000 residents are women and children, was increasing infant mortality. Residents, who are unable to leave and are running out of food after smuggling routes were closed, have described it as "hell on earth".
The cold snap is also having dire consequences on the people fleeing the fighting in the so-called Hajin pocket in eastern Syria. (© Daily Telegraph London)