As War Drags On, North Syria Refugee Camps Grow

Displaced Wonder If They'll Ever Return Home

Early in the Syrian Civil War, millions of people got out. Fleeing to Turkey, eventually to Europe, or across the border into Lebanon, large numbers displaced by violence overwhelmed the border regions. Eventually, Turkey closed the border to the displaced, but they kept flowing north.

Starting it 2015, refugees started setting up camps along the new Turkish border wall. There’s not a lot of movement there, with Turkey not letting them in, and fighting raging just a few miles south. Hopes that the situation in the north would calm were quickly dashed, with Turkey invading north Syria, heavy fighting in Aleppo, heavy infighting among rebel factions in Idlib.

Instead of people trickling back home, more and more people are arriving at the camps, which are swelling into a large collection of people at the border, uncertain about their future as the war continues to drag on with no sign of ending soon.

The UN is estimated as many as 900,000 people along the Idlib border now, with 11 million Syrians displaced overall by the war, roughly half of them having fled abroad while they still could, and the rest displaced internally.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.