The number of Syrian civilians who have fled their country to escape the civil war has passed 1.5 million, the U.N. refugee agency said Friday."The Syrian conflict continues to have a devastating impact on the lives of those who are forced to flee," said Dan McNorton, spokesman for the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, in Geneva, Switzerland.
"Refugees tell us the increased fighting and changing of control of towns and villages, in particular in conflict areas, results in more and more civilians deciding to leave. Over the past four months we have seen a rapid deterioration when compared to the previous 20 months of this conflict," McNorton said.
Along with the refugees, more than 4 million people have been internally displaced, according to U.N. General Assembly President Vuk Jeremic. The war has left at least 80,000 dead, he said, since the start of the hostilities in Syria more than two years ago.