Displaced and fearful: How many times must Syrians flee?

Displaced and fearful: How many times must Syrians flee?
Syrians who have already fled their homes for camps in south Syria have again been displaced to Idlib. Many have found respite, but fear for their futures.
3 min read
24 July, 2018
Thousands of Syrians have fled Daraa and may yet have to flee again [Getty]
An estimated 8,000 refugees from south Syria have fled a brutal regime advance to seek refuge in north Syria. 

While they are now safe from the forces of Bashar al-Assad, they continue to face many difficulties, including accessing medicine and aid, while relying on friends and relatives for help. 

Residents describe Idlib, a province hosting around three million refugees, as being in a "state of exhaustion" after recently receiving more than 110,000 new displaced people from rural areas around Homs, as well as East Ghouta and south Damascus - and that was before the newest intake arrived from Daraa.

"We are suffering the experience of displacement for the second time; we suffered before after leaving Hasaka to stability in Quneitra, but now we live the suffering again after we arrived in Idlib," Said Faris told The New Arab. 

Karim Azzou told The New Arab he was living in Idlib after friends insisted he leave the countryside outside Daraa. He had fled to Daraa from the city of Nawa.

"So far I have everything me and my children need, and we have not had to search for anything," he said. "At the moment, I think we are all in shock. Overnight, we have lost everything we have, so I'd rather take time to consider what happened to us and what is going on. I will see how things go here in north Syria."

Azzou points out that the situation for displaced people is dire, and all suffer equally - no matter from where they fled in Syria: "We are like those who left from Douma and north Homs."

Samira Mahmoud, who lives in a rural village in Idlib, told The New Arab: "This is very similar to the camp where I was living near the town of Rafid near the occupied Golan.

"The most important thing is that we can get food, baby milk, and some medicines. We had a lot of problems accessing supplies, but many good people help us, and they invited us to eat when we arrived. They shared bread with us.

"We are more concerned with the [aid] organisations and we know that the pressure is high on them but we really need them, and we have nothing more," she added.

Idlib is now the only significant territory in Syria outside the control of the Assad regime, apart from those areas controlled by Kurdish forces. However, many believe that a regime advance on the area could well be imminent, with questions raised as to where the vast numbers of displaced people in the province - many of whom have been displaced several times - could seek safety. 

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