As winter approaches, the displaced individuals in the Tal al-Samen camp are enduring hardship and dire conditions in Raqqa

Muhammad Al-Issa, at the age of fifty, starts his day by fixing the worn-out tent he shares with his family in Tal al-Saman camp, located on the outskirts of Raqqa, northern Syria. Having endured a challenging night, he recounts the difficulties caused by the cold and heavy rains. Similar to thousands of displaced individuals from the Tal Abyad/Girê Spî area, their tents can no longer provide adequate protection from the winter cold and rain. The tent has deteriorated to a point where repairing it is no longer a viable option.

Al-Issa displaced from the village of Hijazia in the countryside of Tal Abyad / Girê Spî during the Turkish attack on October 9, 2019, talked about the dire life conditions and sufferings they faced in the Tal al-Saman camp in time of the lack of aid and heating assistance with the onset of winter season.

Um Ibrahim, who is displaced from a village in the countryside of Tal Abyad /Girê Spî living in the camp, said to Target Media Platform that their situation in the camp is poor with a lack of medical centers and medicines, as residents have to buy expensive medicines from outside the camp, with the absence of relief organizations and humanitarian aid in recent months. Um Ibrahim said that she prefers all this suffering rather than returning to her village, where her husband lost his life during the attack by Turkey and its backed terrorist factions on Tal Abyad /Girê Spî.

The Tal al-Saman camp in northern Raqqa, which was established by the AANES in December 2019, is home to more than 6,600 displaced people, about 1,280 families are from the Tal Abyad/Girê Spî region, most of whom are women, children and the elderly. Until now, displaced families are still arriving at the camp, according to the camp officials, due to the non-stop shelling by Turkey and its backed factions on the area adjacent to the occupied areas in the countryside of Raqqa.

The fact that Turkey prevents those people from returning to their homes, meanwhile human rights reports say it is a systematic plan to change the demography of the region by settling people from other regions in their homes as well as members of Turkish backed-factions. The displaced people from their homes find themselves forced to endure all this suffering and hardship in the camp, rather than returning, in time of reports showing the violations against the indigenous people by Turkish-backed factions, including killing, torturing, kidnapping, and looting of property.

prevalence of diseases

The co-chair of the Tel al-Saman camp, Muhammad Ali, confirmed during an exclusive statement to Target Media platform: That the suffering of the displaced is exacerbated with each winter, as the lack of support, the worn-out tents, and the rapid spread of diseases such as leishmaniasis and acute fever due to the distance does not exceed two meters at most between each tent, in addition to the lack of medicines and health care. Meanwhile, there is a mobile clinic that operates only five hours a day, Ali pointed out at the beginning of the establishment of this camp there was greater support from the NGOs, but now the residents receive only 30 % of the support compared to previous support, especially after the outbreak of the Russian-Ukrainian war.

A significant shortage of humanitarian aid

Ali clarified, that there are 58 communes and 6 sectors in the camp, this camp was established in an area with a desert nature, which imposed people difficult living conditions during the winter. The support such as furniture and clothes given every two years to displaced people in the camp by the United Nations no longer exists. He added we call on relevant authorities and bodies to support the camp to expand it, as well as open new sectors, and secure new tents. Meanwhile be ready for emergency cases to respond to any new displacement, which is happening in parallel with constant attacks and shelling of Turkey.

Despite the pleas from the residents of Tal al-Saman camp and the repeated warnings from humanitarian and human rights organizations every winter, the camp’s inhabitants continue to face recurring hardships with the onset of the first rains in the region. They grapple with severe conditions, including a lack of heating, insufficient aid, malnutrition, infectious diseases—particularly affecting children—and other associated consequences. The primary source of blame lies with the international community, which is urged to take responsibility, halt Turkey’s occupation of their land, facilitate their return to homes, and put an end to violations against Syrian civilians.

Human rights reports indicate that the Turkish attack in 2019 resulted in the displacement of 175,000 people from the region between Ras al-Ain/Serekaniye and Tal Abyad/Girê Spî. Turkish President Recep Erdogan had proposed establishing a Safe Zone in this area. These reports confirm numerous violations against indigenous people in occupied territories, as well as those allowed to return, including instances of killing, kidnapping, torture, and property seizures. Additionally, thousands of deportees from Turkey, particularly in Tal Abyad and Afrin, have been settled as part of a demographic change plan in the occupied areas of northern Syria since 2018. Documentation reveals a significant decrease in the Kurdish population in Afrin, dropping to less than 30% post-occupation compared to over 90% before.

Human rights reports say that the Turkish attack in 2019 led to the displacement of 175,000 people from the area between Ras al-Ain / Serekaniye and Tal Abyad / Girê Spî, where Turkish President Recep Erdogan was talking about establishing a Safe Zone, as these reports confirm the violations against the indigenous people in the occupied territories and those who were allowed to return, including killing, kidnapping, torture and seizure of properties. In addition to settling thousands of deportees from Turkey, especially in Tal Abyad and Afrin, this is within the plan of the demographic change, in the occupied areas in north Syria since 2018. It has been documented that the percentage of Kurds in Afrin decreased after the occupation to less than 30% of the population, compared to more than 90% before the occupation.









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