By Maha Abu Shama, Amnesty International’s Syria Campaigner
The shocking story of one family forced to flee Syria for refuge in neighbouring Jordan exchanging their home in Tasil for al-Ramtha Syrian Refugees’ Transitional Camp. For their safety we’ve concealed their real identity.
On 8 February 2012, the Syrian army launched a security operation against the southern village of Tasil, shattering what had been three months of relative safety for Mohammed and Salma and their fellow villagers.
Around nine in the morning, 22 tanks surrounded the village. They started shelling randomly. The Free Syrian Army fighters, who Mohamed says had been protecting the village, fled, unable to fight off the army’s onslaught.
“I had just dressed my kid and was about to leave the house to take him to school when the army came. When I opened the door my neighbour said, ‘where are you going? Go back, we are under attack’,” Salma said.
“I took the children to the nearby house of my sister-in-law. Mohammed, who is wanted, was in hiding in an underground storage room in the centre of the village. I supported my husband’s activities but I was always afraid something bad would happen to him.”