In pictures.. “Freezing hell” burying the tents of the displaced Syrians and deepening their pain

Video duration 02 minutes 08 seconds

North Syria- The family of the displaced Syrian, Muhammad al-Ali, was unable to sleep during the past two days due to the snow storm that hit the area and brought hundreds of tents to the ground in northern Syria, while the snow and rain imposed a siege on the camp residents.

Al-Ali, 45, said that the snow fell on the tent on top of his family while they were sleeping, forcing him to move his children and wife to another tent in the camp located in the countryside of Aleppo, northern Syria, where more than five families whose tents were damaged met.

Most of the camps in northern Syria were established on agricultural lands that lack sewage channels (Al-Jazeera)

Al-Ali indicated – in an interview with Al-Jazeera Net – that the children in the camp were crying and shivering all night from the severity of the cold, after they gathered inside a tent that was devoid of any source of warmth, describing what happened to him as the worst day in his life.

The displaced Al-Ali confirmed that his tent is as old as the five years of his displacement, and it is no longer able to withstand the winter rains and the summer heat more than that, and the condition of his tent is the same as all tents here.


In the vicinity of Al-Ali’s tent, the widowed elderly Umm Khaled is trying to re-erect her tent and raise its canvas again, without success, after the snow covered the tent and increased the weight and burden on it.

Elderly Um Khaled, 62, said that her tent was flooded yesterday, and the rest of the belongings, clothes and food got wet, and she was forced to stand in the open with her three grandchildren all night.

Syria - Aleppo countryside: the snow storm deepened the wounds of the displaced and forced them to sleep in the open after the fall of their tentsChildren suffer the most from snowfall, lack of heating and healthy eating (Al-Jazeera)

Umm Khaled complains that the displaced people in the Zaytoun camp, where she lives, lack everything. They do not get any heating materials, clothes, or sufficient food, and everything that reaches them does not make up for a few days.

The elderly woman says that she lights a primitive fireplace using the remains of dry branches, cardboard boxes and worn clothes, in order to get a little warmth in this harsh weather.

The elderly woman appeals to humanitarian organizations to provide aid and extend a helping hand to the displaced, by providing firewood and clothes for children, with the occurrence of an air depression in northern Syria.

“life hell”

72 camps housing about 2,250 families in northwestern Syria suffered varying damage as a result of the snow storm that has hit the area since Tuesday, according to the Syrian Civil Defense Organization.

The organization published a new statistics showing that 920 tents were completely damaged, and 1,900 tents were partially damaged, in 72 camps, as a result of snow and heavy rains during the past two days.

The organization described the situation of more than 1.5 million displaced people living in rickety tents, that “their lives have become like hell”, after the snow storm flattened the tents of some of them to the ground.

Syria - Aleppo countryside: The camps in the north of Syria shelter more than a million and a half displaced people, most of whom depend on humanitarian aidThe camps in northern Syria shelter more than a million and a half displaced people, most of whom depend on humanitarian aid (Al-Jazeera)

In turn, the director of the “Syria Response Coordinators” team, Muhammad Hallaj, said that the increase in damage within the camps was caused by the failure to take the necessary precautionary measures before the onset of winter, the recurrence of previous damage, and the lack of actual solutions by humanitarian organizations to avoid these damages.

Hallaj added – in an interview with Al Jazeera Net – that the camps’ survival so far and in their current situation is the largest actual crisis within the humanitarian crisis in Syria.

According to Hallaj, there is no actual response for those affected by the storm that hit the area, and he expects that humanitarian response operations will start, and repair the damage after opening the roads and assessing the damage completely.

Syria - Aleppo countryside: the displaced Syrians complain about the complete absence of heating fuel and the scarcity of humanitarian aidSyrian displaced people complain about the complete absence of heating fuel and the scarcity of humanitarian aid (Al-Jazeera)


With the advent of winter, the suffering of the displaced Syrians is repeated amid cold, mud and snow, in a scene that has become normal and present every year, where more than a million and a half displaced people living in those camps face agonizing suffering that knows no way to its end.

The director of al-Tah camp in Idlib countryside, Abd al-Salam al-Musa, responds to the recurring issue of the IDP camps being submerged, and most of the tents have been worn out and not replaced for several years, with the displaced being unable to buy a new tent.

Syria - Aleppo countryside: some displaced people rely on primitive heaters that they light with remnants of branches and worn clothesSome displaced people rely on primitive heaters that they burn with the remains of branches and worn clothes (Al-Jazeera)

According to Al-Mousa, most of the camps were set up in agricultural areas that lack sanitation or paved roads, which makes them drown in mud and mud with the first rainy season.

Al-Mousa said that the support provided by humanitarian organizations is emergency aid that does not solve the problem, and does not exceed a food basket or detergents and sterilization materials, pointing to the absence of any support related to heating fuel or winter clothes and the replacement of worn-out tents.

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