GUVECCI, Turkey, Dec 9 (Reuters) – Tracks used for
decades to smuggle animals and petrol across the border between
Turkey and Syria are becoming more hazardous by the day and
people making the crossing now face mortal danger.
And it is not just those on foot who are at risk. Lorry
drivers who have returned from Syria talk of dead bodies by the
roadside and burned-out military vehicles.
Syrian troops guarding the border are opening fire at
“anything that moves”, residents and refugees said, apparently
fearing armed infiltrators will cross into Syria to join a
nine-month-old uprising against President Bashar al-Assad.
Karem Faidom, 26, from the Syrian port of Latakia, fled to
Turkey nine months ago and now runs a small shop in Gorentas, a
village on the border. He said he was shot at earlier this week
as he tried to cross back into Turkey.
“Some nights ago, some friends and I crossed over to Syria
to bring back sugar and olive oil to sell in the shop and also
to pay respects at my father’s grave, who was killed near the
border as he fled Syria,” Faidom said.