Syria Democratic Forces, with support of the US-led coalition controlled the last stronghold of ISIS in Al Baghouz town in the north of Euphrates River as thousands of civilians were deployed from the said town towards camps in Deir Ezzor and Al Hasaka.
The increasing numbers of the IDPs and lack of readiness of the camps to host them resulted in increasing their suffering as Al Hol camp management refused to receive them, then it accepted to do so.
As the military actions increased in Al Baghouz, the local authorities established a temporary camp in the south of Al Suar town in the northern countryside of Deir Ezzor, which is held by SDF, to host the coming IDPs and as a checkpoint for transporting them to other camps.
“The camp consists of four big shelters, each of them includes about 60 mattresses, that were not enough for the high numbers of IDPs who fled Al Baghouz town”, as stated by JFL field researcher.
Photo for the crossing camp in Al Suar town – Date” February 27th 2019
Thousands of IDPs and Dire Humanitarian Conditions:
On February 25th 2019, the local authorities deployed about 900 families from the crossing camp in Al Suar town to Al Hol camp in the countryside of Al Hasaka province following one week of their arrival to the town.
According to a well-based source, “most of those families are of ISIS members and from different nationalities. The deployment operation took one day as they were about 7000 people, most of them are women and children”.
Photo for one of the shelters – Date: February 27th 2019
Despite the fact that the military actions started months ago, and the local and international warnings were raised that there will be influxes of displacement, yet the local authorities did not take the needed actions to counter this situation and the crossing camp was not well prepared to receive this number of IDPs.
One of the convoy escort told JFL that “Lot of people slept under the open sky as the four shelters were not adequate for all IDPs. Three children died from the cold, and births took place without any medical assistance”.
Photo for a baby who was born in the camp on February 21st 2019
Credit: Witness who is based in the camp
Any additional delay in providing assistance for the IDPs will come up with negative results especially on the children, women, and the elderly.
JFL calls upon the local authorities to meet the needs of the IDPs. It also calls upon the international and local humanitarian organizations to intensify their efforts to deliver more assistance to thousands of those who fled the military actions.
JFL emphasizes that SDF and its allies should work on securing a rapid, safe, and voluntary return for those who fled the recently captured areas.