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These Syrians were able to flee their homes, but now have to sleep in the freezing cold


These Syrians were able to flee their homes, but now have to sleep in the freezing cold

WATCH |  Freezing temperatures add to hardships for Syrians 

At night, temperatures can drop below freezing in Om Abdo's tent. The mother of two lives in a temporary shelter in Harem, a town in Syria's northwest Idlib province. 

Surviving in freezing temperatures

"The tents are falling down because of the snow ... it's really freezing here. We just burn wood to keep us warm," Abdo told Circa.

For the six million Syrians displaced inside their own country, the winter weather only adds to their hardships. 

"We just need your mercy, if you can bring us clothes and blankets to protect us from the cold weather," Abdo said. 

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Humanitarian agencies have warned the frigid conditions can lead to hypothermia and respiratory problems. Children already suffering from malnutrition are especially vulnerable. 

The whole province is incredibly overcrowded at the moment.
Caroline Anning, Save the Children

Since the war in Syria began six years ago,  some 700,000 internally displaced people have found shelter in Idlib, according to OCHA, the United Nation's humanitarian affairs office. Many of the civilians and fighters who fled eastern Aleppo as part of an evacuation deal reached last month arrived in Idlib, and are now staying in temporary shelters or with host families. 

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As a spokesperson for the International Rescue Committee recently put it, "escaping Aleppo doesn't mean escaping the war." 

Still a target

Currently held by a coalition of rebel groups including the hardline Ahrar al-Sham and the former Al-Qaeda affiliate Fateh al-Sham Front, the northwestern province is the biggest rebel stronghold left in the country and remains a target of Syrian and Russian airstrikes.

"It's been a huge strain in an area which is already itself war-torn and under strain. So, schools, hospitals and housing are all in massively short supply," Caroline Anning, humanitarian media manager for Save the Children said. 

This story includes contributions from Zouhir al-Shimale

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