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“An Endless Displacement Flight”

A Testimony of an Internally Displaced Person from Outaya town to Douma City during the Violent Military Attacks of February 2018

by wael.m
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Preface: On February 20, 2018, "Abdullah Mowaffaq " was displaced with his wife and child from the town of Outaya[1], following the recent military campaign launched by the Syrian regular forces on all Eastern Ghouta cities and towns on February 18, 2018, after which they began a journey of incessant and cruel displacement through which they witnessed horrific events. In this regard, Abdullah told "Syrians for Truth and Justice/STJ" about what he and his family have been through saying:

On February 18, 2018, pro-government forces launched brutal shelling on Outaya using rocket launchers, which targeted the mid-town, specifically "al-Hassan Mosque".
Several days before that, the town was subjected to a heavy aerial bombardment with explosive rockets, which resulted in the total destruction of half the town. However, what we witnessed on February 18, 2018, was the fiercest, since the town was bombed throughout that day, and there were no shelters or cellars in Outaya, since its buildings are randomly structured. 20 people were killed in Outaya during that period as a result of dropping barrel bombs on residential buildings.
What I will never forget is the scene of targeting an ambulance, which was transferring members of Shaker family, with a rocket. I saw how they fell dead or wounded; they were mostly women and children. Following this horrific massacre, we felt frightened and we decided to move out of the town towards Al-Ashʿari  area on February 20, 2018.”


Abdullah added that most of the estimated 1850 families in Outaya had been displaced from the town on 18, 19 and 20 February 2018, towards Douma and Mesraba, noting that the town was completely free of its inhabitants after these days, except for fighters from the armed opposition factions. He goes on to say:

“Most families, including us, displaced from the town of Outaya without being able to take anything of our household goods and belongings, we even have moved on foot. After ten staying in Al-Ashʿari area, the flight resumed because of the violent targeting of the area with cluster bombs. I still remember how two rockets, loaded with cluster munitions, landed next to the house I was in, which led to its massive destruction, and forced us to flee again to Mesraba village, with several families, specifically on March 2, 2018. Several days after we arrived in Mesraba, the hysterical shelling began on it where one of the cellars of almost 60 families was targeted, which resulted in many injuries and deaths among them. As a result, Douma is the only left city to go, we sheltered there in cellars crowded with families, we had nothing, as we had been through almost two days without food, even though my child is malnourished, and currently there is no milk or food that may protect him from hunger, not to mention the poor health conditions that we suffer as a result of staying inside cellars which do not get the sun."


[1] Syrian regular forces managed to control Outaya on March 5, 2018, which was held by of The Army of Islam.

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