IDLIB, Syria (AA) – Residents of Syria’s Eastern Ghouta district, which remains under siege by the Assad regime and its allies, continue to flee to opposition-held parts of northern Syria in hopes of finding safety.
Since the evacuation process began, more than 56,000 people have left the besieged Damascus suburb.
Evacuees were initially sent to camps in Idlib, in Aleppo's western countryside, and in the Al-Bab district, which is located within the area of operations of Turkey’s Operation Euphrates Shield.
Due to the recent influx of people, however, these camps are now full to capacity.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency at Idlib’s Abrar camp, Abu Mohamed said the Assad regime had allowed Eastern Ghouta residents to leave the district on condition they leave all their personal belongings behind.
“We have no pillows or blankets; we don’t have anything,” he lamented, adding that aid NGOs had yet to reach many of the temporary camps.
Another Eastern Ghouta resident, Abu Ahmed, said he and his friends — despite the difficult humanitarian situation — felt much more secure in Idlib.
“Prices here aren’t bad, but we don't have any money. There was no life in Eastern Ghouta; we only had barley bread to eat,” he said.
Abu Rashid, yet another district resident, said he and his family were having difficulties adapting to their new surroundings.
“We don't ask for much, just a livable environment. We need electricity,” he told Anadolu Agency.
Mohamed Tikko, who oversees one of the temporary camps in Idlib, said Eastern Ghouta residents were being given priority in terms of accommodation, with many being put up in local mosques, homes and schools.
“Resources are extremely limited,” he said. “Some NGOs have offered to pay the rents of refugee families for two months.”
“But these people have left all their belongings behind — their financial status is terrible,” he added. “What will they do after two months?”