JARABULUS, Syria – Cars, weighted down with vital supplies, make their way in
the opposite direction of streams of refugees, who are desperate to escape the
This border crossing into the Turkish town of Karkamis –
from the northern Syrian town of Jarabulus – has been a popular route for
The brutal infighting among Syrian rebel groups has unfolded at an
astonishing pace over the past few months. The effects are palpable at the
Syrian men rushed a severely wounded fighter into
Karkamis. The man, on a gurney, was unconscious and his face barely
It is unclear if he survived his injuries.
was the site of combat in June between the al-Qaida-linked Islamic State of Iraq
and al-Sham – known as ISIS within Syria – and the pro-Western Free Syrian Army.
ISIS is believed to control Jarabulus, but there are Kurdish rebels in the
The Jerusalem Post interviewed dozens of Syrian refugees at the
Kilis refugee camp in Turkey, at another border crossing roughly a 90-minute
drive from Jarabulus.
“All of the international community is working
against us. Are we all wild animals?” asked a middle-aged Syrian man.
than 200 Syrians, most of them families with young children, live in a
trash-infested lot across from the refugee camp. Their names cannot be disclosed
because of fear of retribution against family members still in
Converted shipping containers, enough to hold up to 12,000
refugees, provide crammed living quarters.
The real number of refugees in
the camp, which is run by the Turkish government and the UN high commissioner
for refugees, is thought to be between 15,000 and 17,000.
authorities are slated to open a second camp in Kilis to provide shelter to
refugees living outside the existing one. The newly arrived refugees, who
arrived between six weeks and 10 days ago, have endured a grueling existence
outside the camp. One asked that a “message be sent to the Turkish government to
find a way to help us.”
Benjamin Weinthal reports on European affairs for The Jerusalem Post and is a fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.