Although Turkey is one of the guarantor states of the de-escalation agreement in northwestern Syria, it is stepping up its offensive toward the internally displaced people and the civilians who fled the war in Idlib, towards the Syrian-Turkish borders. Where the displaced people who try to cross the borders to enter Turkish territories illegally, are attacked with live gun-shots by the Turkish border guards, killing and wounding dozens of Syrian civilians, including women and children.
Assault and large sums of money
Furthermore, the intensively deployed Turkish guards on the Syrian-Turkish borders, deliberately target the camps nearby the borders with light and medium weapons, especially after control over large areas of Syrian agricultural lands near the towns of Aqrabat and Kafr Lusin, in the northern countryside of Idlib.
Ahmad al-Yaseen, a young man from northern Hama, told North-Press that he tried several times to cross into the Turkish territories to work there and secure a living for his family, after he was displaced from Hama countryside and lost his land, which was his only source of livelihood. He added that every time he tried to enter Turkey, he was arrested by the border guards, who were severely beating him. "One of my relatives was severely beaten and his bones were broken after being hit by an iron bar with no mercy," Ahmad said.
Regarding the sums of money they pay, al-Yaseen explained: "We pay the smuggler $500 in addition to another $50 in favor of the so-called border sector of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham," stressing that it is impossible for anyone to enter without paying this tax to the HTS militants, who deploy offices for them In Urim al-Joz, Harem, and other bordering areas where smuggling takes place. While one of the workers in smuggling into Turkey (Kh. al-Hajji), from the town of Harem, told North-Press that during his smuggling work, he was subjected dozens of times to firing shots by the Turkish border guards, the matter that often causes the death and injury of several people accompanying him.
"Last time when I was trying to get a group of 35 people including children and women into the Turkish side, we were subjected to direct gun-shots, which resulted in the injury of several civilians, including a woman, where the Turkish border guards managed to arrest most of them, and beat them horrendously," he added.
Exploitation of the displaced people by the HTS
According to al-Hajji, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) imposes taxes on each smuggler, as its offices operating in the border zone force civilians to get a paper specifying the name of the person, and the amount of money paid for the smuggler on the pretext of protecting them and not being used by those smugglers.
Targeting of camps
On the other hand, the IDP camps near the Syrian-Turkish border are subject to continuous shooting by the Turkish border guards, as one of the residents of Kafr Lousin camp, north of Idlib, named Muhammad al-Sajnawi, said that Kafr Lousin camp is very close to the Turkish border wall, and the Turkish border guards points are only about 500 meters away from the camp. He added that the officers alternate the border fire directly at the tents of the IDPs and on the main road in Kafr Lousin, killing and wounding a large number of civilians, including women and children, during the past months, while the armed opposition groups deployed on the mentioned area do nothing.
It is noteworthy that the Violations Documentation Center in Northern Syria VDC-NSY has documented in its report issued on the 1st of December, 2019, the number of Syrians killed by the Turkish military, which reached 447 refugees, including 83 children under the age of 18, and 56 women.
Moreover, the number of gunshots or assault injuries rose to 420 citizens, who were desperately trying to cross the Syrian-Turkish border to escape the war that has been running in Syria for eight years ago, or residents of Syrian border villages and towns or local farmers, and the owners of lands adjacent to the border.