ALEPPO, Syria — Abu Ahmed, 40, works long hours transferring goods from trucks at the Bab al-Salameh border crossing between Turkey and Syria to provide for his wife and children. Four months ago, Abu Ahmed lived in the Halak neighborhood in the city of Aleppo, but then government helicopters barrel bombed the house he used for shelter. He fled with his surviving family members to Bab al-Salameh, in the northern Aleppo countryside.
Abu Ahmed rubbed dust from his eyes while standing in front of his tent, which swayed in the wind. He lamented, “This is the third time I have moved, and I do not think it is going to be the last. I feel that I am destined to be in misery all my life. No electricity, no food, no life worthy of a human being.” He also told Al-Monitor, “On a monthly basis, my children get diarrhea and stomach illnesses. And I don’t have a choice but to have my little boy work in a restaurant to be able to get a meal at the end of the day. Life has become very difficult here.”