Raqqa province residents suffering after SDF captured two quarters of the province in its fighting with ISIS after launching “Wrath of the Euphrates” campaign in 2016.
Displacement after “liberation”
Though SDF captured large scale of Raqqa province more than 100K were forced by YPG-dominated SDF to leave their villages and areas to nearby empty areas to form a “human gatherings” similar to camps,according to testimonies from residents SDF captured their areas lately:YPG commandership gave International Coalition coordinates of civilians houses to be bombed to scare civilians and force them to leave.
Among the displacements more than 40K civilians leave in their relatives houses in Raqqa northern countryside while 60K live in about 60 camps contain canvas tents where at least 1000 civilians live in those camps,in addition to Ayn Eissa and Mabroukat camps on the northern borders of Raqqa province with Hasakah province,those camps lack any life-depending materials like water and food with the absence of international aid agencies or “self-autonomous” agencies controlled by PYD.
An employee working with aid agency in the area told NSO:Raqqa city displaced civilians are about 45% of the camps’ residents while displaced civilians from Aleppo and Homs countryside and other areas are about 55% while women and children percentage about 70% of the whole displaced civilians,according to the employee majority of the families in the camps don’t have a supporter and most of the supporting males especially under 40 years old stayed in ISIS-held areas in feaqr of forced conscription forced by YPG in its held areas.
Random refugee’s gatherings not suitable for humans
Abu Ahmad a 45years old civilian from Raqqa married with 5 children live now with group of refugees in tents they set up in a nowhere- land near al-Karame town which was under ISIS control at that time,after the intense bombardment targeted civilian neighborhoods in the city and the absence of the services in the city beside ISIS harassment,about two months ago International Coalition told civilians in the town to leave in leaflets dropped from its warplanes and then Abu Ahmad and his family headed toward Karame town.
Abu Ahmad added all northern Raqqa countryside living outside their villages and YPG banning them from going back to their villages under the pretext of “sleep cells” in the villages,according to Abu Ahmad YPG fighters tricked civilians with fake clashes with ISIS and sometimes they withdrew from the villages so ISIS fighters sneak and coalition bomb the residential neighborhoods which force civilians to leave.
Abu Ahmad described the situation in the camp saying:we live in this camp near Karame town in an inhuman conditions,all tents here were sewed by civilians themselves and we didn’t receive any aid from any aid agency,some civilians here dug 3x3m holes with 0.5 depth and covered it with big piece of cloth to live in it.
Abu Ahmad condition is similar to other refugees in random camps on 50km distance beginning from Karame town east Raqqa until Jazert al-Bouhmid on the Raqqa province border with Deir Ezzor next to Euphrates river where the biggest random gatherings in Raqqa countryside.
Camps are detention camps
In the same context Um Abdullah a 35 years old ex-teacher with three children live in Tal Abyad city north Raqqa told NSO: I had to leave Raqqa city to the northern countryside when conditions inside the city reached unbearable level due to Coalition bombardment and ISIS harassing women, I headed to Mazraat Teshreen and stayed there for a month before YPG captured it following ISIS retreat.
Um Abdullah add: days after YPG captured Mazraat Teshreen they forced us to leave and I left with about 2000 civilians from the area toward Ein Eissa camp guarded by YPG military vehicles to stop any refugees going to nearby areas.
Um Abdullah clarified that Ayn Eissa camp is similar to detention camps where military force distribute food aid to refugees with small amount while swearing at refugees and accusing them of being ISIS even women and children,camp doesn’t have a clinic and the camp guarded heavily while management don’t allow any person to leave without a local sponsor but she was able to leave after finding a middle man with an influence on “self-autonomous” and now she lives in Tal Abyad.
Away from YPG cameras and media
One of the local doctors visited Ayn Eissa camp and told NSO:Leishmania started to broke out in Raqqa northern countryside and I documented so far more than 400 case in Tal Abyad and its countryside camps,those areas have suffer from shortage of medicines especially Leishmania,what make it worse it YPG controlling hospitals and clinics and using it for its fighters and supporters.
The doctor added SDF field military hospitals have good health equipment while civilian’s hospital lack crews and equipments.
YPG blocked those information and real conditions of the camps and refugees’ gatherings in Raqqa from media,while media coverage there are by media close to SDF or licensed by PYD “Free Media federation” which shows fake reality of refugees approving how SDF and YPG dealing with them while PYD-affiliated armed groups arrest any civilian whose mobile phone contain footage from his area or camps under YPG authority and the usual accusation is communicating with media agencies belong to Turkey.