The Citizens of al-Tabqah Migrate after its Siege and the “Islamic State” Prepares for the battles

The Citizens of al-Tabqah Migrate after its Siege and the “Islamic State” Prepares for the battles

Enab Baladi Enab Baladi
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Villages of North al-Tabqah leaving their houses - 31 March 2017 (Facebook)

 

During the past few days, Om Amer lost her house in the city of al-Tabqah. It was almost completely destroyed by rocket fire in the neighborhood where she lived with her family, so she fled with her injured husband and six of her children to the Raqqa countryside.

 Journey of Search for Shelter:

The 50-year-old woman and her family carried only the clothes they could with them after the killing of some of their neighbors following the raids. Describing the city to Enab Baladi, she says it “is empty after people left their houses and belongings because of fears of bombing,” And adds “We left empty-handed and have nothing except for God’s mercy”.

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 The Syrian Democratic Forces (QSD) tightened its siege on the city of al-Tabqah, which is under the control of the “Islamic State” organization, after entering on Thursday (April 6th) the strategic village of Al-Safsafah, east of the city.

Today, the family is looking for a tent to shelter them, while eyewitnesses estimated the price of one tent, in their speech to Enab Baladi, at around 300,000 Syrian pounds. They added that the cause is the “shortage of resources in the region, which raised the price of one loaf of bread to 60 pounds.”

“The residents live in deadly conditions between the choice of survival and departure,” said activist Sulaiman al-Saad. He described the situation in al-Tabqah as “sorrowful” following the displacement of most of the city’s residents, under the intensity of the “International Alliance’s bombing “, with the increasing intensification of conflicts.

The “Islamic State” Prepares for the Battles:

The city of al-Tabqah is about 55 km away from the city of Raqqa, and it included thousands of displaced people in the area in addition to its original inhabitants, whose number is more than 70 thousand people, according to statistics of the city’s residents.

Some of the people who newly left the city confirm to Enab Baladi that the “Islamic State” has begun to build barricades in the streets of the city in order to repel the expected attack from QSD. He points out also that “a small number of elements remained in al-Tabqah after most of them went to Deir ez-Zor countryside with their families.”

Where to Go?

“We are people displaced of countryside looking for a shelter,” says the 37-year-old Ahmed, who migrated with his family from al-Tabqah to Raqqa countryside. He added “as if the spring did not pass from here, as if this land had never known joy.”

The young man recalls his trips with his friends in the countryside, fearing the future of his children. He said “We do not know what will happen to us here. We have lived without water or electricity for more than a week,” estimating the price of a barrel of water at 400 Syrian pounds.

Residents complain about the displacement camps that are spread in Raqqa countryside. They point out that they “need a lot of supplies and tents, in the absence of medical and relief materials,” warning of the spread of diseases, since the camps house tens of children and their families.

Ahmed wonders “Where should we go in the midst of poor economic conditions and lack of prospects?” He pointed out that what forces many to stay “is the conviction that the possibility of death is the easiest option today.”

Despite the assurances of the engineers of the dam that its situation will improve, the fear from its collapse is still a concern of many residents of the region. They who believe that the goal of the “alliance” was not to destroy it, “but to limit its ability to generate electricity for a long time,” after the destruction of the command and control room on the fourth floor, what stopped all electrical control equipment of the dam turbines and gates below.

Residents fear that the damage will reach the Baath Dam, which is located after the Euphrates dam towards the city of Raqqa, along with the low flow of water from the source, which would stop its generation of electricity  and increase the tragedy of people in the region.

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