If the attack on Afrin is about 'border security', why Turkey targets a refugee camp?

by The Region    


On the 19th of January, a correspondent working for ANHA Hawar news agency documented the attacks of the Turkish Armed Forces on Robar Camp in the Sherawa district of Afrin. 

Life was already difficult in Robar camp before Turkish bombardments increased the burden. For almost 4 months, many of Robar's residents had difficulty receiving any food. International aid organizations barely had a presence, and residents lived in flimsy tents.

photo credit: Jafar Jafou, Tulin Hassan - ANHA Hewar News Agency

With little to no support, the Democratic Autonomous Administration has done all it can to help the camp's residents. They help provide 155 tons of pyrene as an alternative to fuel and help collect firewood for heating and cooking. But with little to no international support, most camp residents still cherish the few belongings they have. 

Turkish bombardments on the camp have damaged agricultural land and property. An environment of fear has since pervaded the camp for its displaced residents, many of which escaped the Turkish and Turkish backed-FSA campaign "Euphrates shield" that was officially concluded in March 2016.

"Why are you attacking the refugee camp? Why are you attacking us? We want to eventually leave!" one resident of the camp told Anha Hewar News agency.


photo credit: Fatma Ibrahim - Noori Omer ANHA Hewar News Agency

"We abandoned our homes in idlib to escape Turkish backed armed groups" said one resident who had planned to transfer to another nearby camp, "we may be bombarded again in al-Shahba"

At one point, IDP's were so concerned by attacks on their camp that they released a statement of appeal to the United Nations and the International community.

"We, the internally displaced residents of Robar camp, condemn the silence and complicity of Russia, America and the International community" a statement they produced reads. 

ANHA Hewar News Agency

"We condemn the inhuman, brutal aggression and bombardments against our camp in contravention of the International humanitarian laws and norms which ought to protect the camp. We appeal to the United Nations, its humanitarian office (OCHA), international relief organizations and international human rights bodies to intervene swiftly to rescue the displaced from the haphazard and indiscriminate bombing of the Turkish Army" it concludes. 

Residents of the Robar camp were eventually evacuated and transferred to al-Shahba camp. Manal Gobari, an administrator at al Shahba camp estimated that approximately 50 families went had moved there.