Syrian woman Raifa, wife of Mehdi Haymur, cooks in Afrin, on May 26, 2018. AFP / Nazeer AL-KHATIB
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Displaced from Ghouta, Syrians seek refuge in emptied AfrinDisplaced from her home in Syria's Eastern Ghouta, Umaima al-Sheikh and her family sought refuge in an abandoned house across the country in Afrin. Syrian President Bashar Assad has used such deals to retake territory, prompting charges he is reshuffling the country's demographics.His April capture of Ghouta was sealed with the transfer of thousands of people to the rebel-held north, with many going on to Afrin.As many as 35,000 people have taken refuge in the Afrin region, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.With help from rebel military police, he and his family have squatted in several Afrin homes but their owners have arrived and asked them to leave.The owner of the abandoned block where he lives now has allowed them to stay temporarily, Haymur said.That's why I came here," Buri said.Rebels also helped he and his family find an empty home in the Mahmudiyah district of Afrin, and Buri has also enlisted in the Turkish-backed police.
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