An intensive siege has been imposed on al-Shahba canton by Damascus government, which is home tens of thousands of Afrin’s refugees in step to create a rift between the administration of al-Shahba and the people.
Recently, the Damascus government imposed severe siege on al-Shahba canton, and prohibited the entry of food and medical goods and aid, with the onset of the winter season.
Since the occupation of Afrin by Turkey on the 18th of March 2018 and the displacement of all its residents, the Damascus government has practiced a systematic siege on the overcrowded canton of the displaced from the occupied Afrin.
In conjunction with the Kurdish National Council’s demands to cancel the curriculum for northern and eastern Syria and impose the Damascus government curriculum in schools, the latter confiscated textbooks at checkpoints and prevented them from reaching Afrin students, which raised many doubts about the relationship of the Kurdish National Council and the Damascus government and the harmony of their policies related to eradication the Kurdish issue.
Citizen Abdo Isso said, “For three years, we have been suffering from the practices of the Syrian government against us due to the siege imposed on us and the prevention of food and fuel supplies to enter al-Shahba canton, which exacerbates the suffering of the displaced.”
Isso referred to the suffering of the people in the winter season, saying: “With the onset of winter every year, the Afrin Canton Council, in coordination with the Fuel Committee, distributes diesel to the displaced for free, and every year we suffer the same problem, which is the siege of the Syrian government and the confiscation of fuel tanks.”
For his part, citizen Salah al-Din Bilal, a resident of Barkhdan camp in Favin district, denounced the policies of the Damascus government against the displaced from Afrin within the camps and semi-destroyed homes, which represented the closure of all ports leading to al-Shahba canton and the confiscation of aid sent to the displaced.
Bilal said, “The Turkish occupation army and its mercenaries deliberately forced us out of our homes, and now the Syrian government is practicing what is similar to the Turkish occupation practices against the people of Afrin.”
Bilal considered that the Damascus government seeks “to exclude the people of Afrin as if they were not Syrian citizens.”
On the role of humanitarian organizations, Bilal affirmed that “the work of humanitarian organizations in the displacement camps in al-Shahba has become routine, and that they go out for tours within the tents and explore the views of the people without meeting their daily needs.”
As for the citizen Fidan Ajou, she confirmed that the siege imposed on al-Shahba canton “exacerbates the suffering day after day in all respects, and caused exorbitant prices during the past few days, increased transportation costs and wandered between the district’s districts,” adding, “This is due to preventing the entry of fuel and medical aid and food. “