Turks Fear What Syria’s War Will Bring
As the autumn morning fog burns off the Syrian hills just across the Orontes River, the sound of gunfire and a Syrian military helicopter signal that another day’s bloodshed is resuming in the embattled Syrian village of Azmarin.
On the Turkish side, three flop-eared goats sit in a field, and a tethered horse and foal nibble at the brush, while across the border the helicopter circles Azmarin before striking.
Residents of Hacipasa line the fields, gesturing to the plume of smoke rising from the Syrian side. This isn’t a spectator sport — many of the families on the Turkish side have relatives in Syria. They wait for the calls from the river announcing more refugees fleeing the violence.
The refugees bring stories of bodies lying in the streets, and no respite from the shells and gunfire. Ahmed Juha, a 34-year-old Syrian, says he won’t stay long in Turkey, despite the horrific scenes in his small village near Azmarin.
“The situation is very bad there,” Juha says. The Syrian army “stormed in and started killing people, not just the [rebels]. They shot 15 people in the mosque, and then the helicopter bombs came.”