Internally Displaced people (IDPs) in the YPG-controlled northern countryside of Raqqa have concerns about their identification documents which were confiscated by the management of Ain Essa Camp. Documents were confiscated more than twenty days ago and those wanting to leave the camp were not told when or if they would get these documents back.
Approximately nine thousand internally displace people live in Ain Essa camp and they are able to leave the camp in only two cases: they must have a sponsor from the northern countryside or they must intend to leave the camp and exit SDF-controlled areas completely.
Abu Ibrahim, a 36 year old displaced person in the northern countryside, told an RBSS reporter, “I left Raqqa a month ago. It was a deadly journey. The first stage of the journey was though the AL Jalaa’ Farm, which was attacked by Coalition airplanes and dozens of people were killed there. After that, we were forced to leave the farm and go to Ain Issa Camp. It took us two days of walking to reach this camp – where the men have to sleep outside and the women and children are all gathered together in small tents. Before entering the camp, we had to stand for two days in a queue for security investigations and to hand over our identification documents.”
Abu Ibrahim added, “Water and food are luxuries here – not to mention the poor medical care and the humiliation that accompanies everything. I have decided to leave the camp with the help of one of my relatives who lives outside of it. We would end up living in a place that is more like a livestock-stable but at least it preserves our dignity. We have to get our identification documents back first, but whenever we ask for them, the answer is that the security situation is too unstable for that!”
The only other option for those who want to leave this camp is that they travel to Euphrates Shield spaces or any other non-SDF controlled areas. Since it is not an option to enter any city under SDF control, thousands of people, who have had to leave their own lands, feel that this is just another method aimed at demographic change in the region.