Syrians flee to Atme to escape conflict in their towns

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A rapidly growing number of Syrians are seeking refuge in a refugee camp in the northern town of Atme, 60 km from of Idlib.

Conditions in the camp, which houses between 15 to 20,000 refugees, are very difficult, especially during the bitterly cold winter months, but many have no choice but to stay there to escape the constant shelling carried by government forces.

Zeyad Arour, who is in charge of Atme camp, says the situation is increasingly serious.

“The number of refugees in the Atme camp is increasing day by day. This is a result of the continued violent and racist attack by the regime against the Syrian people and against humanity. People from all around the country - from Damascus provinces, from Idlib provinces, from Hama - they all come to this camp. The mosques in the camp are filled with women, we have a shortage of around 300 tents,” he said.

Without enough tents and supplies, many women and children are living in mosques and schools in the town.

Haytham, who has been in the camp for a few days, says he escaped terrible conditions, only to be met with more bad conditions.

“We came here because of the attacks. We hid in an underground shelter for 3 days and we couldn’t leave it. It was only at 2am that we could leave. As soon as the strikes stopped we emerged carrying what we could and came to the camp. Its been five days since we arrived at the camp and we can’t find a tent to sleep in. There are no tents. Four or five hundred people have no tents. There are no tents.”

The conflict in Syria has been going on for over two years, causing over 60,000 deaths according to the U.N