Investigations | 11 Nov 2014

Dozens of Syrian families per day arrive in Turkey, coming overland from the south of Syria, crossing a a mixture of checkpoints belonging to the Syrian regime, ISIS, The Free Syrian Army [FSA], and other factions.

Like scores of young men who risk themselves on the daily attempt to cross this dangerous road, Khalid arrived in Turkish Gaziantep, thirty days after coming out of Darayya in the Damascus countryside, where was trapped for more than two years.

He confirmed to Rozana that his domestic and financial situation were the main reason for his sacrifice in getting out of his hometown, with the secondary reason being the lack of logistical support for the people trapped inside the city.

The young frst embarked on a journey south towards Daraa where he met seventy people, mostly women and children, walking on their journey. They had survived ambushes by regime forces, and miraculously escaped death many times, as a result of being targeted by mortar fire, and walked for about a day and a half.

Khaled next turned northwards to the city of Mayadin, where he was forced to meet the Amir [ISIS commander] of the region. He was closely investigated, to ascertain he did not belong to one or another of the other opposition fighting factions, and then was made an offer to join their particular faction, under the pretext of fighting Nusairis [Alawites] and apostates, as they claimed.

The Darayya native regime and FSA checkpoints, saying: "We crossed about 17 ISIS checkpoints. In general, they are far more organized that the FSA, who were very bad. They took or IDs and searched us closely, with some checkpoints actually dealing well with us." He adds: "There were some checkpoints who would not allow us passge before paying a bribe, with every barrier belonging to a particular faction; whereas ISIS gave me a paper that enabled me to pass through all 17 checkpoints smoothly and without scrutiny."

Khalid's psychological condition is poor, due to the complete and sudden change he is pasing through. He nevertheless describes his treatment by Turks and other Syrians in general, as being quite good. He is beginning to slowly improve.

Still, scores of civilians arrive daily at the Turkish border, taking the same tortuous road, and exposing themselves to ambushes and checkpoints which impose their varied affiliations and subordination upon them. Some civilians safely make the trip, while others die simply for belonging to one party or the other.

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