Dozens of families displaced from Idlib Province are arriving into areas governed by the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria.
The escalation of military conflict in the Greater Idlib region has led to the forced displacement of thousands of local residents who have sought refuge in neighbouring areas. Certain groups of displaced people have opted to seek safety in areas that are currently being governed by the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AA).
Several displaced people have cited fears of retribution if they fled to areas under Syrian regime control and some are also fearful of crossing the border into Turkey, which they also describe as an expensive and unfavourable endeavour.
“Some fled here and others fled to the north of Idlib. Everyone was displaced and no one stayed behind. Displacement has become normal since no one stayed because of fear, terror, and war. It is not easy”, stated Umm Nafaa, an IDP from Idlib.
Those fleeing to AA-governed areas are crossing through the Aoun al-Dadat crossing north of the city of Manbij. A camp is reportedly being established in the Manbij region to house the incoming displaced people, while some are being transferred to the Abu Qubaiyeh camp to the south-east of Raqqa city. Thus far the authorities in Raqqa have estimated that around 170 families from the Greater Idlib region have been settled in the Abu Qubaiyeh camp.
“We are still waiting for the establishment of a camp in the city of Manbij to accommodate the large numbers that wish to enter the areas of north-eastern Syria”, asserted Mahmoud Habib, spokesperson for the Democratic Northern District.
The recent bouts of displacement have come as a result of military escalation instigated by the Syrian regime’s forces and Russian bombardment of areas in the Greater Idlib region.
In the most recent developments, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) captured the symbolically significant formerly rebel-held town of Maarat al-Numan. In addition, a number of Turkish soldiers were recently killed as a result of shelling by the Syrian regime’s forces.