Syrian refugees are still fleeing to Iraq using the al-Qaim crossing. According to the head of the Syrian refugees’ aid committee, the mayor of al-Qaim city, more than 1,400 Syrian refugees crossed into al-Qaim in just two days and have been residing in temporary shelters set up in three schools.
The family of Umm Ali (known as Ali’s mother in Arabic) is one such family.
Her husband, Abu Ali (Ali’s father in Arabic) was killed when her house in the Boukamal region in Syria was bombed.
Umm Ali and her wounded children were able to reach al-Qaim hospital where they received medical treatment for their injuries.
“A shell fell on my house and as we were leaving, the missile exploded and killed my husband and wounded my children,” Umm Ali said.
“We were leaving our house to go to another one, and as soon as my father and I went out, the shell fell on the house and exploded. My father and six of our neighbors were killed. It wounded 70 people and killed 17 others,” one of Umm Ali’s children said.
Despite his tender age of eight, Othman has vowed to avenge the murder of his father whose death he witnessed when their house was bombed.
“My father died a martyr. I have taken his machine gun and will kill those responsible for his death. I gave it to the Syrian rebels who afterwards left,” Othman said.
Umm Ali’s family tragedy seems to be unending as even though it appears to be out of danger at the refugee camp in Iraq, Umm Ali has yet to recover from the loss of her husband and home.
Her wound continues to bleed and may not be easily cured.