THIS HOUSE IS RESERVED FOR AHRAR aL-SHAMIYAH

Lorîn Sebrî

photo: Lorîn Sebrî

From a scene on the TV screen, Khayriyah saw her house destroyed. Before that, she has heard that on the wall of her house was written (reserved for Ahrar al-Shamiyah).

Khayriah Othman, is a 42-year-old woman from Zirgan town and a mother of four children; two girls and 2 boys.

As a result of the military offensive occurred by the Turkish army and the Turkey-related armed factions of the Syrian National Army on the city of Sari Kani which launched on 9th October, Khayriah with her family leaves her house in Zirgan and goes to Tall Tamr. Khayriah says: “Shelling was heavy, and therefore, the inhabitants had no choice but to escape to other Jazira region cities”.

Khayriah was depressed because of these incidents, especially she has seen her house a few days ago, after the occupation of Sari Kani city and the airstrikes of the Turkish Army.

Khayriah calls that difficult day (the deluge day). The whole family reached the health center in Tall Tamr town, stayed three difficult days, then they have been asked to leave the center, so they headed to Qamishlo city and settled in Liwaa’ school, which has been prepared to become center to receive displaced people from Sari Kani on 20th October. According to the Displacement Affairs office of Jazira region, 8 families and 36 individuals have settled in Liwaa’ school.

If you see Khayriah’s hand closely, you would know how heavily she worked, she was living in poverty, and how difficulties she experienced to raise her children, particularly, during the moments of war while she was hearing the sound of the artillery shelling and bullets “it was like the judgement day, hordes of women and children on motorcycles and in cars, some others, as they couldn’t find anything, they were walking”.

According to the Displacement Affairs office of Jazira region, displaced people reached 300’000 IDPs, of them 2195 women, children, and elderly people, as well as, 480 of them with bad health conditions.

Khayriah has left the history of her life totally behind her. The house, full of emotions and happy and sad moments she lived with her spouse, has destroyed, and she has lost all of her memories with it. Now, Khayriah is a lost person, she has nothing in mind except for killing scenes and the smell of blood. All happy and painful times have gone with the house in Zrigan.

In that cold morning, while the north wind blew on the east of Zrigan, a town in the rural areas of Sari Kani, the civilians were targeted violently. On 24th of November, the Turkish Army striked Zirgan with warplanes, and in result, 6 houses were knocked down to the ground, one of it was Khayriah’s house; it has been demolished.

Khayriah continued:” I was giving water to my daughter, when suddenly I heard an artillery shelling. The glass dropped from my hand, and I fast went to my father’s house, my mother is an old woman, I searched for my mother while the sound of the warplanes was clear, and bullets were shot from different places”.

Her only concern was how to get her old mother out of the town, “the road was full of the inhabitants, most of them were elderly people and children. With the crying of the children I called my son. He said that he is still at work; this made me worry more”.

A lot of scenes remained in Khayriah’s mind “On the road, everyone with a vehicle picked some of the inhabitants in order to get them far from the artillery shelling”.

I put my children in a tractor that was going to Tall Tamr. At that time, there was a number of the inhabitants who have been injured by the artillery shelling and were getting transported to hospitals in Tall Tamr and Al- Hasakah.

Khayriah’s daughter ‘Jan’ said that the Turkish Army and the armed factions related to them have cut the raod to Zirgan. And thus, communication between them and their neighbours and relatives has been stopped, “I’m so concerned about my friends, and I’m deeply sad for them, I know nothing about them till the moment”.

Jan is deeply sad to be far from her school and she misses her books, especially as they are living now in a school. Jan doesn’t know when she will return to her school and be able to write about these incidents.

After these incidents, a decision was made that all the displaced families from Sari Kani must be settled in the camp.

Khayriah, like all other displaced people, is afraid of returning to her house. She is afraid to be killed, as she says that those who have taken our houses and occupied our cities and villages can do any repugnant thing; we have witnessed that ourselves.

On 2012, in the first offensive on Sari Kani, Khayriah’s spouse was martyred. She took leave with a gloomy smile and headed to the school yard for a break under the sun.