More people have been escaping Syria’s Idlib in the last few days amid tensions between Ankara and Damascus, Filippo Grandi, the UN high commissioner for refugees (UNHCR), said on the sidelines of the 2nd Riyadh International Humanitarian Forum.

"What we know is that in Idlib province in the northern part, there are about 900,000 people displaced in the last few months, let's say, but in the last few days this has accelerated," Grandi said, adding that there were no new figures available yet.

The UNHCR is concerned about the civilians currently trapped in Syria’s Idlib amid the Damascus-Ankara standoff and is in contact with both sides about the situation on the ground, Filippo Grandi said.

"Of course, we, all of us in the aid community, in the UN, are very worried about the situation of civilians trapped literally in the Northern part of the Idlib province. The estimates are that it is almost 1 million people that are displaced and the access is not easy there," Grandi said.

"Therefore, we continue to make a plea essentially for a diplomatic solution to that conflict because we believe that military solutions would just increase the hardship for civilians even further," the commissioner continued.

When asked whether the agency was in contact with the relevant sides there, Grandi said, "Yes."

"We … have operated on the basis of Security Council resolutions through local NGO's that provide a minimum of assistance," he explained.

The displaced people are currently in desperate need of tents or any other type of shelter that will shield them from the cold temperatures, Grandi said.

"So, that's what we are trying to step up with the rest of the aid community. Of course, this is Idlib. We, of course, work in the whole of Syria, also in other parts, and it continues to be quite a challenging situation to have to work in that context, but that is the most acute problem at the moment, Idlib," Grandi said.

In addition to the escalation on the ground, tensions have been mounting between Damascus and Ankara. According to the Russian Defence Ministry, Turkish troops, who were not supposed to be in the area, got caught in the Damascus’ response fire on militants.

Last week, terrorists from the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham group attacked Syrian government forces, who returned fire. The fighting created a new wave of civilians seeking refuge elsewhere in the province of Idlib or across the border. Turkey, which shares a border with Idlib, announced it was opening its borders with Europe — Greece and Bulgaria — to allow refugees through.