Hundreds of thousands of people who have been internally displaced across northern Syria as a result of military conflict are struggling to cope with the winter conditions.
As the deep winter sets in across northern Syria, the worsening weather conditions are coming at the worst possible time for those who have been recently displaced from their homes as a result of the military escalation in the region.
Washokani camp for internally displaced people (IDP), which is located around 12 kilometres west of the city of Hasakah in north-eastern Syria, is housing thousands of those who have left their homes in the area lying between Ras al-Ayn and Tal Abyad, where the Turkish military and Turkish-backed Syrian rebel forces have established a so-called “safe-zone” as part of “Operation Peace Spring” launched in early October.
“We live in this camp and our situation is very bad because of the mud, rain, and cold. Our situation is very dire, but we fled here to escape death. They took our relatives and property, and until now, we do not know their fate”, stated Abu Omar, an IDP stranded at the Washokani camp.
Those who have settled in Washokani or other such IDP camps in northern Syria are severely lacking in materials and equipment necessary to survive the treacherous winter conditions. Nevertheless, the displaced people’s calls for more aid as of yet remain unheeded.
“Our situation is very miserable. I came 6 days ago with my children and we are asking for help, but no one is answering us. I asked for a piece of nylon because the mattresses got wet and we cannot use them. We need help to be able to live in tents after we were forced to come here”, explained a female IDP at Washokani camp.
A number of lawyers and activists have exposed the human rights violations experienced by people displaced from across northern Syria as a result of the last few months of military conflict in the region.