The devastating economic conditions and soaring unemployment rates in the Syrian government-controlled areas are pushing many young men toward Turkey via areas held by the opposition in the northern countryside of Aleppo and those under the control of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham in Idlib.
These young men face several dangers on the journey between cities controlled by the government. Most of them are wanted for failing to join the compulsory military service in the Syrian government army. To avoid conscription or arrest, they head to the opposition-controlled areas, specifically those held by the Free Syrian Army (FSA) factions, allied with Turkey. They cross smuggling routes between the government areas and the FSA areas, or between the areas held by the Syrian Democratic Forces and the FSA areas.