Displaced Syrians living in camps throughout Latakia complain of the lack of international aid and relief efforts in the camps. The displaced people say that there is nothing they can do to improve their situation but demand something be done.
Parts of the rebel-held areas of northern Latakia Province are home to internally displaced people (IDP) living in appalling conditions in camps. The main camp in the area is known as Ain al-Baida Camp. It is said to hold over 1,000 tents and those who have settled in the camp complain of a severe lack of aid and opportunities to make ends meet:
“Where are we meant to go? We’re just sitting in this camp. I can’t work for example. Where can I find a job? There’s no work”, said a settler in Ain al-Baida Camp.
Conditions in the camp have been deplorable for a number of years and those in the camp are well aware of the neglect:
“Relief aid is not always present, it can take up to a whole year before we receive a box of relief aid, and it is so pitiful. In winter the camp is very muddy, and in summer it is very dusty. Education is very poor. Everything here is lacking”, said another IDP in Ain al-Baida.
The camp is mostly home to Syrians displaced from the villages in Jabal Akrad (Mountain of the Kurds) and Jabal Turkmen (Mountain of the Turkmen). Although the region is located on the front-lines of the loyalist and rebel territories, it has not witnessed any major battles in recent times. Nevertheless, frequent skirmishes and shelling continue to take place, rendering life in the villages in the northern Latakia virtually untenable.
In addition, the rebel-held areas of Latakia, Idlib and Aleppo are preparing for an offensive by the regime’s Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and its allies. The exacerbation of the military tensions in the region, considering the myriad of local and international actors involved, bodes badly for the most vulnerable living there. The number of displaced people from the region is expected to rise exponentially in the coming weeks.