Due to War, Cities of Northern Syria Became Deserted

Due to War, Cities of Northern Syria Became Deserted

News | 25 05 2020

The city of Ras al-Ayn, north of Hasakah, in northeastern Syria, has become almost empty after residents escaped from it and moved to other cities such as Qamishli, Hasakah and the villages of Amuda. The city of Tell Abyad, north of Raqqa on the Turkish borders, has also witnessed a mass displacement, according to Rozana’s correspondent in the area.

"The displacement in the city started after its bombing since the first moments, as thousands have left the city, and it has become almost empty of civilians," said Orhan Kamal, 35, from the city of Ras al-Ayn, to Rozana.

Many IDPs were forced to sleep in the open, due to lack of means of transport at the first moments of displacement, Kamal said, adding that those who arrived in the city of Hasakah were distributed to five schools, and humanitarian organizations started registering their named to provide relief aids.

The number of displaced people, according to OCHA, as of October 14, reached about 160,000 people from northern Syria because of military operations between the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the Turkey-backed opposition National Army.

The Autonomous Administration said in a statement on Tuesday that the number of displaced persons reached more than 275,000 people, including 70,000 children, and many injured people.

The Turkish military operation started in northeastern Syria after the withdrawal of US forces from the Syrian-Turkish borders in northern Syria, on October 7, which the Kurds considered as a renunciation of the commitments promised by Washington regarding the safe zone.

Mohammad Ali, a displaced person from Ras al-Ayn, told Rozana that "civilians are powerless in the face of this fierce war, forcing him to flee with his family to the city of Hasakah."

"The situation is bad in Hasakah and there is a large displacement movement," Ali said, appealing to international organizations to intervene and provide aid and hoping for "the stop of the shelling so that he can go back to the city."

Saadia Ahmad Khalil, who fled from Ras al-Ayn with her family of four children, the eldest of whom is 13, told Rozana that she did not leave her house only after a part of it was hit by shrapnel from a nearby shell and after the city was heavily bombed.

"I need help, especially for my young children, including clothing, milk and other foodstuffs," says Khalil, who, since her arrival in the city of Hasakah, Ashna for Development organization received her and provided a house for her and her children.

She explained that the Autonomous Administration asked her to leave the house, which was provided by the organization, and live in one of the schools allocated for the displaced people of Ras al-Ayn and Tell Abyad.

The United Nations has estimated it needs $ 31.5 million to cover its activities in northeastern Syria after it announced providing aids about to 31,800 people last week.

The United Nations provided aids, including tents, blankets and plastic sheeting, and pointed that IDPs had no civil documents, as they did not bring them when they left their houses, and that they need first aid and psychosocial support.

The people of cities and towns in northern and eastern Syria are living in a state of fear and anxiety from a human catastrophe in light of the continuing military operations in the region, after the displacement of more than 200,000 people from the border areas, as well as the fear of the displacement of people from large cities such as Qamishli, the largest city of Hasakah, which is home to about one million people.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) announced its suspension of its services in Ain Issa camp, which hosts about 13,000 people and is located about 45 km from the city of Tell Abyad, as well as the departure of its administrative staff since October 13.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has called on Turkey to make "self-restraints" in its operation against the SDF in Syria, and warned at a press conference that the battle against ISIS would be at risk. He also called for avoiding actions that can further destabilize the region, escalate tension and cause more human suffering.

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