Damascus government’s embargo on Shehba intensifies

The government of Damascus, which does not allow even basic food items to enter Shehba by closing all the gates leading to the canton, continues to implement its hostile policy towards Afrin IDPs.

The Damascus government’s embargo on Shehba is getting severe. The Damascus administration, which does not allow the entry of even basic food items by closing all the gates leading to the canton, continues to follow a hostile policy towards the immigrants from Afrin.

There are only two entry points to Shehba, located in the north of Aleppo. One entry is in the Sherawa district of Afrin and the second is through the road to Aleppo via the Ehdas district of Shehba.

There are dozens of Damascus Government checkpoints on the Aleppo-Shehba road. Between the checkpoints on the way, there exists the 4th Brigade affiliated with the forces of "Mahir Esed-Heres Cimhuri (Republic Guards)". There are also joint checkpoints of the state authorities and intelligence in the region.


After the occupation of Afrin by the Turkish state, hundreds of thousands of people had to migrate to Shehba. Immigrants continue their lives in Berxwedan Camp, Afrin Camp, Serdem Camp, Veger Camp and Shehba Camp.

After the Turkish state invaded Afrin, 6 villages in Sherawa faced a severe embargo. The villages occupied by the Turkish state in the west and the towns of Nubul and Zehra, which are controlled by the Syrian government forces in the east, are in the middle of a severe embargo. The names of the villages under the embargo are as follows: Meyase, Zirnaatê, Birc Qas, Kilûte, Mezin and Başemra.

Since the settlement of the Afrin IDPs in Shehba, the government of Damascus has been trying to crush the will of the people of Afrin through conscious policies. Diesel, health and basic food items are not allowed to be distributed in Shehba. The flour, diesel oil and books sent from Northern and Eastern Syria are deliberately seized.


The government of Damascus has closed the roads to Shehba once again since Monday and stopped the delivery of the aid that it had allowed to pass in a limited way. The security forces affiliated with the Damascus administration are trying to cause a strife between the migrants of Afrin and the people of Shehba by facilitating the people's passage to Aleppo and other regions. Those with Afrin ID cards are not allowed to pass.

From time to time, security forces detain refugees from Afrin on the grounds that they have a relationship with the Autonomous Administration. Taxes of up to 8 million Syrian Lira are being imposed on fuel tankers, pharmaceutical vehicles and some basic food stuffs. The Afrin Regional Council had also committed to distribute fuel and medicine free of charge throughout the winter season.

The Autonomous Administration is trying to help migrants with limited means. It tries to minimize the difficulties caused by the embargo by meeting its daily needs.

The Municipalities Committee provides free electricity to all villages of Shehba. After the embargo got more severe, the hours when electricity is given have been reduced due to the lack of diesel.


In the meantime, the ongoing coronavirus outbreak also raises concerns. Due to the embargo, the people have difficulty in accessing medicines. Even health centers do not have enough health equipment. Despite the difficult conditions in Shehba, humanitarian organizations do not deliver aid. All international organizations are content to monitor the situation. While the Turkish state and its gangs are attacking the villages of Shehba each day, the Damascus administration is trying to subjugate the people of Afrin by making the embargo more severe.