Syrians facing hunger due to the civil war in their country flood to northern Iraq in order to survive in freezing cold and winter conditions.
Syrians who can no longer deal with hunger and lack of fuel rush to northern Iraq by risking death and walking in freezing weather.
An Anadolu Agency (AA) team of reporters were able to display the plight of Syrians living in a small village who arrived after walking in the cold and snowy weather. The Syrians living in the small village include many 1-year-old babies.
-Fathers whose hair partly froze and babies unaware of what is taking place at hands of mothers-
Syrians who have reached the villages in Zummar region, some 60 kilometers away from Dohuk, have taken shelter in homes in ruins and tried to fight against the cold by burning clothes and pillows.
While the children were seen shivering in cold, mothers and fathers who placed blankets on their babies lived the happiness of bringing children to a secure environment and the sadness of being away from home at the same time.
Elderly who felt weak after getting tired, young children walking barefoot on mud and cold soil, women walking only with slippers, young women trying to protect their babies from cold, and children whose clothes and hair partly froze put their last goods on fire to heat up and their tragedy could be seen clearly.
-“Who would want to leave home?”-
One of the Syrian refugees, Taha Emin said that the situation in Syria was no longer bearable.
“We can not find fuel or bread. After the civil war, we are now faced with hunger,” Emin stressed.
“In order to protect our families from hunger and getting frozen in cold, we only had one option remaining and that was taking refuge in an other country,” Emin noted.
“We walked for kilometers by risking death in freezing weather. We had to walk barefoot as our shoes were damaged in the cold weather,” Emin said.
“It is Bashar al-Assad who is responsible for the tragedy we are in,” Emin underlined.
“My God will punish those responsible for the tyranny. Who would want to leave home? Who would want to walk with families and babies? Everyone is sad about leaving home behind. But we had to. We had to walk so that our families and children could survive. When the incidents in Syria first began, people could run away in cars. There is no longer such an opportunity as all cars have been damaged. We were forced to walk,” Emin indicated.
“We are extremely exhausted. We stopped in the village to get some rest and to dry our clothes. We will continue our journey to Zaho in a car or by walking,” Emin also said.
-Their number is over 60,000-
Since the incidents in Syria began, more than 60,000 Syrians took refuge in Iraq’s Dohuk, Irbil and Sulaymaniyah cities. More than 30,000 Syrians now live in a camp in Dohuk in tents. The regional administration in north of Iraq permits the Syrians to rent homes and work in the region. However, a great portion of the Syrians depend on humanitarian assistance in order to survive.