Where do Syrian Refugees Go?

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Caught in the crossfire between the Syrian army and rebel forces, thousands of Syrians have fled the city of Aleppo since the end of July 2012. According to the United Nations (UN), aerial bombardments by the Syrian army -- which has tanks and is heavily armed -- have targeted the insurgents in this city, which is located in the Northeast part of the country. Summary executions are multiplying on both sides

The exodus

Around 200,000 people have fled the city, according to the UN. Some are hiding around Aleppo and others have managed to cross the border and reach neighboring countries such as Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, and most popularly, Turkey. The latter has welcomed more than 44,000 refugees across eight camps. 

Syrians, including wounded rebels, are pouring into Turkish hospitals, including that of Kilis, as testifies Hassan, a young Syrian we interviewed. 

As of now, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has identified around 120,000 people in exile - a number that is growing by the hour.

> Look at the map of the flux of refugees to Syria's neighboring countries (numbers from July 27, 2012). 

Credit: UNHCR

Thousands of Syrians have also fled to Algeria as a result of a bilateral agreement that facilitates travel between the two countries.

Humanitarian aid on the ground.

The UNHCR, which is on the ground in Aleppo, has done its best to start humanitarian aid. But the violence of the confrontations has forced them to reduce their "operational capacity." The agency works hand in hand with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent in Aleppo by sending supplies from Damascus, the capital of Syria. 

For its part, the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) has announced the shipment of additional food aid to Aleppo, which aims to reach 28,000 people. 

The Syrian conflict, born from the rebellion of March 2011, against Bachar al-Assad's regime, has degenerated into a full-fledged civil war. With two heavily armed sides facing each other and UN peace plans that fail successively, a resolution to the conflict seems more and more unlikely. 

Translated from French

Photo credit: Saad Bakri.

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