Bab al-Salama – Refugees in the province of Aleppo continue to suffer under awful conditions. The ongoing conflict remains the largest displacement crisis in the world and represents one of the worst humanitarian disasters of the 21st century. 13.5 million people require assistance within Syria – including 6.3 million internally displaced people – and over five million refugees seeking safety in neighbouring countries.
As a result of sustained bombardment on the city of Aleppo and its surrounding regions last year, tens of thousands of Syrians began amassing on the Syria-Turkey border. In February 2016, up to 20,000 Syrian refugees fleeing fighting in the north-western Aleppo province gathered at the Bab al-Salama refugee camp on the Bab al-Salama border crossing.
Thousands of these displaced Syrians have suffered as a result of landmines that have been planted across the country. Mahmoud, an eleven year old resident of the Aleppo countryside describes how a landmine exploded and amputated both his legs while he was harvesting olives in his hometown.
According to the United Nations, It will take 40 to 50 years to clear the mines, improvised explosive devices and other unexploded ordnance from Iraq and Syria. The presence of landmines and other explosive devices has made many villages, towns and cities uninhabitable, further complicating any future reconstruction efforts after the war.