by Ari Chaw Children and parents attempt to escape the Syrian war in the largest exodus during this nine-year war. Just a couple of days ago, Iman Leila who is 18 months old froze to death as her father tried rushing her to the hospital. Iman’s death was only one of the nine children who died due to exposure in the most recent weeks. Many families are sleeping with no shelter, while some lucky ones can sleep in tents or abandoned buildings. Another family hoping to keep their children warm put a fire in their tent overnight. The fire ended up burning down the tent as they slept, killing both of their children. The refugees only want a safe and warm place to live. Many of these people can’t afford a house, so instead they buy fuel to keep them warm. Those people who cannot afford fuel wrap their children in plastic sheets to keep them warm. When they run out of wood for the fire, they use clothes or shoes to keep them warm during the night.
President Bashar al-Assad of Syria is closer than ever to retaking Syria’s last rebel-held territory in northwest Syria. During a three month period the presidents forces working with Russian airstrikes have intensified their attack on the provinces, driving nearly a million refugees back. This exodus is the largest of this war and has displaced 13 million people and taken hundreds of thousands of lives. This exodus is also one of the largest in recent history. Many people have already fled from across Syria, ending up in Idlib a city in northwest Syria. People who came to the Turkish border in the past few weeks now have to sleep in overcrowded camps that flood with rain and disease. The Turkish government has already accepted about 3.2 million refugees and cannot take any more refugees. The Syrian war is causing families to split up. One refugee mother had to smuggle her eldest son, who is 13 years old, to Istanbul so that he will be safe, and he will be able to work. She has no idea if she will ever see him again.
A woman named Ms. Shaker said, “In Syria, you can no longer distinguish between right and wrong. They say the regime is bad, and the rebels are good. Sometimes they say the regime is good and the rebels are bad. I can’t tell anymore. They’ve both ruined my life.” This is the hard part about war. People hate the Syrian war and want to go back to her old life, where there is no more fighting.
Picture credit: https://www.timesofisrael.com/10000-syrian-refugees-stuck-at-turkish-border/