Bab Al Salameh IDP Camp

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13 Sep 2013 11:30

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Bab Al Salameh IDP Camp
Bab El-Salameh IDP Camp, Syria
By zackbaddorf
23 Aug 2013

LEAD: As the US prepares to strike targets inside Syria, the people of Syria are preparing for a US response. Reporter Zack Baddorf, with Transterra Media, went to an Internally Displaced Persons camp in Syria to speak to some Syrians about their response to the attack and what they want the international community to do.


Sameer Idris prepares tea outside her tent in the Bab al Salameh Internally Displaced Persons Camp. She’s been living here, alongside about 11,000 other Syrians, for about four months. She says she and her family had no choice but to flee her home in Marea, north of Aleppo.

SAMEER: “My house was bombed. Cluster bombs were dropped near my house. Machine guns shot up my house, opening a hole in the wall. We don’t have money. We’re afraid.”

After hearing about the chemical attacks in Damascus, this mother of five said she worries that the President Bashar al Assad’s regime will use chemical weapons on the camp. She called on the United States to act.

SAMEER: “Now we know Bashar al Assad has used chemical weapons. I expect Obama to act. He has to do something now,” “We ask the international community to do something about this situation, to support the opposition, to do something against the regime. Bashar al Assad has a lot of money now so he can go to any country and live like a prince.”

To make some extra money, Sameer, who was a saleswoman back home, repairs other Syrians’ clothing using her hand-operated sewing machine.

Although, she insists she will stay in Syria, other Syrians are now leaving the country -- out of fear of more chemical attacks.

At the Syrian-Turkish border crossing, Mustafa Husain and his sons sit with a few boxes and bags -- their worldly possessions -- as they prepared to cross into Turkey to go live in a refugee camp there. They were previously living in the Bab al Salameh camp.

HUSAIN: “We came to Bab al Salameh because of shelling in our home areas but it wasn’t safe here either. There was shelling. The kids were afraid. Some people were injured and a woman was killed inside the camp,”

When they heard about the chemical attacks, Husain had enough.

HUSAIN: “The regime used chemicals in Damascus and elsewhere and they can do it in the Bab al Salameh camp, too.”

Back in the camp, Said Mermet walks home to his tent. He’s a border guard with the Free Syrian Army. He thinks Assad is destroying the country, especially after he heard about the chemical attacks in Damascus.

He called on Western countries to support the FSA.

MERMET: “Of course, we don’t expect them to fight for us,“ “We are responsible for our country, we can defend our country, we can free the regime.”

Mermet said that Kalishnikovs, sniper weapons and other small weapons can’t do the job. The rebels need bigger, better weapons.

MERMET: “The FSA will do the rest. We will finish Bashar al Assad.” [This quote comes from within the last clip of Mermet]

For Transterra Media, I’m Zack Baddorf, Bab al Salameh Internally Displaced Persons Camp, Syria.