Tue 19 Nov 2019

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Ceasefire, Idlib’s IDPs Only Chance To Move Their Belongings

People displaced from southern rural Idlib to Syria’s North due to the shelling – August 13, 2019 (Enab Baladi)

People displaced from southern rural Idlib to Syria’s North due to the shelling – August 13, 2019 (Enab Baladi)

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A day into the one-sided truce that Russia and the Syrian regime declared in Idlib province, Jamil Mustafa, one of  Ma`arat al-Nu`man al-Sharqi’s residents, returned home, to move his furniture and the basic belongings he might need, urged by the absence of warplanes and helicopters from the airspace.

Jamil, accompanied by his family, escaped his bombarded area in the past  few days, seeking refuge in less-bombed ones on the Syrian-Turkish borders.

On Monday, September 2, the young man narrated the following to Enab Baladi: “We fled, taking none of our belongings. We escaped with our lives,” pointing out that he seized the opportunity, the current ceasefire, to move his furniture and essential household items, which he will definitely need at the place he was displaced to.

Jamil noted that the truce, declared by the Syrian regime and Russia, covers “aerial action only,” for southern rural Idlib,  Ma`arat al-Nu`man and its vicinity in particular, are yet enduring artillery and missile shelling.

The truce was put into force on August 31 at dawn, to which the opposition factions, operating in Idlib, committed themselves without making any official statements concerning the matter. The Syrian regime, however, violated it, as it showered the towns and villages of Idlib with dozens of mortars and rockets.

On August 29, the Syria Response Coordination Group (SRCG) documented the displacement of more than nine thousand civilians from Ma`arat al-Nu`man area in 24 hours, who escaped the missile and artillery shelling conducted by Russia and the Syrian regime.

The SRCG, back then, published a report saying that the extensive displacement of civilians from areas in southern and eastern rural Idlib is yet ongoing, especially from the Ma`arat al-Nu`man and its surrounding, owing to the bombing the Syrian regime and Russia have embarked on.

The SRCG has also documented the displacement of over 1474 families, amounting to 9587 persons, the majority of whom is yet on the streets and in the open air.

Mahmoud al-Jamil, a resident of the Jarjanaz, administratively affiliated with Ma`arat al-Nu`man district, also head back home to move his furniture under cover of the truce.

“We escaped our city in an urgent way; we had no time to move the furniture or other household goods,” al-Jamil, who now lives in an area near the Syrian-Turkish borders, told Enab Baladi.

“Arriving in Jarjanaz, to move our furniture, we were taken aback by the continuing missile and artillery shelling. Despite the declared truce […], mortars are yet falling on the city,” he added.

“The truce was declared. However, it was not put into force on the ground.”

In Syria’s North, there are 600 IDPs camps, according to the Salvation Government’s figures, where the organizations and entities running the area are facing various difficulties at securing the IDPs a shelter and setting up new camps on publicly-owned lands, as a statement by the United Nations (UN) indicated on August 23.

In the past a few days, the SRCG has been warning that the targeting of the major cities in Idlib province is to spur massive waves of displacement, which will swirl out of control.

The SRCG, earlier on, has also documented the death of 1248 civilians, including 332 children, since the break out of the military campaign in February, not to mention the displacement of a million persons.

In Idlib, a few days ago, civil, political and vocational entities, have called on the UN and the Security Council to immediately step in and put an end to the targeting of the population, medical and healthcare facilities, schools, marketplaces and houses.

 

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