Turkey, Middle East

Seven years on Syrians long to return home

Regime forces have occupied villages forcing civilians to flee to safety

Handan Kazancı   | 15.03.2018
Seven years on Syrians long to return home


By Burak Karacaoglu, Esref Musa, Selen Temizer and Omer Koparan

IDLIB, Syria 

Civilians in Syria's northwestern Idlib province long for the day when the civil war will end and they will be able to return to their homes. 

Around 300,000 civilians live in Atma village of Idlib, right on the Turkey-Syria border, across Hatay province in southeastern Turkey.

Syria has been locked in a devastating conflict since early 2011 when the regime cracked down on demonstrators with unexpected ferocity.

According to UN officials, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed in the conflict so far.

Um Ayed, one of the civilians who lives in a camp in Atma, told Anadolu Agency he has been away from home since the last six years.

The 50-year-old said that Syria’s Bashar al-Assad regime forces hit his village from an army base in Latakia.

“We can only return to our homes after the Assad regime is ousted,” he said.

Abdulrahman Lattuf, another civilian at the camp, said he had to flee in 2013 when forces backed by the Assad regime attacked his hometown in a Damascus countryside.

He said that the hope of returning home has kept him going in the past five years.

A civil engineer by profession, Lattuf said he will rebuild his home when the war ends.

Seven-year-old Omer said he did not remember the time when they left their home.

“The only thing I remember is Assad regime bombing our home,” he said.

Ahmed Zarzur, 27, who hails from Al-Hbit village in Idlib, said: "It has been six years since we were forced out of our villages."

He said his home in Idlib's southern countryside is still being hit by the regime forces.

“We will return to our home when the regime falls," said Zarzur.

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