snow middle east
Syrian refugees stand amid a snow storm at an unofficial camp on the road between Riyaq and Baalbek in Lebanon's eastern Bekaa Valley, near the border with SyriaAFP

Wednesday (7 January) was the first day in three years when no casualties were reported in Syria as heavy snowfall prevented fighting.

Snow storms have hit several areas of the Middle East and low temperatures have temporarily halted the conflict in Syria.

The statistic was revealed by the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), which monitors the war by contacting sources across Syria.

"The cold protected the Syrians from bombardment and fighting," the head of SOHR, Rami Abdulrahman, told Reuters.

He added that one insurgent died in Darraya, near Damascus, due to wounds he had previously sustained.

The news came as the UN said that Syrians represent the largest refuge population in the world after Palestinians and ahead of Afghans.

It is estimated that at least three million Syrians have fled their country since the civil war erupted in 2011. At least 98% of the refugees are hosted by only five countries: Iraq, Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan and Egypt.

Number of Syrian refugees in the five main host countries:

Lebanon 1,174,914
Jordan 632,905
Turkey 1,600,000
Iraq 225,373
Egypt 142,543

Reports also say that at least 6.5 million Syrians are internally displaced; of these, half are children.

Although the snow storm prevented civilians from being killed on Wednesday, winter represents a big obstacle for internally displaced Syrians, who often die because the makeshift shelters they live in do not protect them from freezing temperatures.

At least two Syrian refugees were reported to have died in Lebanon as the snow storms hit the Middle East.

According to Unicef, at least seven million Syrian children are in danger this winter.

The Syrian civil war pitted forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad's supporters against rebels. The fighting has caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of civilians.

The latest UN estimates state that more than 191,000 people have been killed in the conflict, while millions have fled their homes.

If you wish to help Syrian children survive during winter, you can make a donation to Unicef by clicking here.