Syria’s internally displaced live in squalor
Northern Syria – On the northern edge of this war-torn country, barely 100 meters from the Turkish border, thousands of desperate Syrians slept in the dirt.
They were hard to spot at first, hidden among ancient olive groves.
But as the sun rose, bodies stirred beneath filthy blankets, next to pitiable shelters of plastic sheets strung up between olive trees.
Children began scavenging in surrounding fields for twigs to use for cooking fires. Women lined up next to a water tank pumping milky, chalky water presumed to have given many residents of this make-shift camp diarrhea.
But now rebels from a local Free Syrian Army group that slept in a tent with the words “police office” spray-painted on it estimated there were between 5,500 and 6,000 people living here, with more arriving every day.
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“I came here because my house was destroyed,” said Youssef Dabul, an English-speaking 30-year-old man who said he used to manage a KFC restaurant in Aleppo.
“I never imagined in all my life to come here and live under the olive trees.”
Many of the residents told similar stories of rockets and airstrikes pummeling their villages and towns, forcing them to flee their homes.
Source: Ivan Watson for CNN