Displaced Syrians, who fled battles between regime forces and ISIS militants in Deir al-Zour, have found themselves trapped in the Ain Issa camp in the Raqqa province, where they took refuge after its liberation from the terrorist group.
Asharq Al-Awsat found those Syrians living in very difficult conditions, while they wait to get “permits” to cross into other areas.
Hundreds of families pour daily from Deir al-Zour, eastern Syria, to the camp in Ain Issa. Each family carries a story of how it managed to escape the battles.
Two or more Syrian families live in one tent, sometimes in the absence of any services. But, for them, despite the dire conditions, the tent remains a dream come true.
Jassem, 28, from the city of al-Mayadeen, close to the Iraqi border, told Asharq Al-Awsat that he was forced to leave two months ago, when the shelling intensified and after regime forces captured his hometown.
Jassem, his wife and children were able to escape to Ain Issa. But, he said that he wanted to travel to southern Aleppo areas that are controlled by the armed opposition.
“I was forced to enter the camp. For the past ten days, I have been waiting to receive a permit that allows me to cross into other areas,” he added.
Mahmoud al-Khalil, another Syrian displaced in his fifties, said he was also forced to leave his house last October with his wife, three daughters and son, following intense fighting that erupted in the city of Albu Kamal between regime forces and ISIS militants.
Following a long trip that lasted around 15 days, Mahmoud reached Mabrouka camp in the countryside of al-Hasaka city. However, officials there refused to grant him entry due to the high number of displaced already living in the camp.
Khalil therefore continued his route to Ain Issa, located 50 kilometers northwest the city of Raqqa.
“My destination wasn’t the Ain Issa or Mabrouka camps. I told them from the beginning that I wanted to travel to Aazaz to join my relatives,” he said sadly.
Khalil is also waiting for a permit to cross into other Syrian areas. Despite his daily visits to the office that issues these passes, he lamented that he has not yet received one.