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Syria grandmother builds clay ovens to fend for orphan grandchildren

June 1, 2023 at 8:16 pm

An ambulance is parked next to stacks of bread at a damaged site in Aleppo, Syria, 28 September 2016 [REUTERS/Abdalrhman Ismail]

Shamsa Al-Ali, 65, builds tandoors — traditional clay ovens to bake bread — in Syria’s northern district of Tal Abyad to look after her six orphan grandchildren, Anadolu Agency reports.

In 2015, Shamsa lost her only son in an airstrike carried out by the US-led forces in the province of Deir Ez-Zor.

Shamsa migrated to Raqqa from Deir Ez-Zor, which was at the centre of the attacks of the YPG/PKK terrorist group and coalition forces.

Deir Ez-Zor province, east of the Euphrates River, is currently occupied by the YPG/PKK terrorist group.

Shamsa’s family, comprising six grandchildren aged 8 to 13, managed to settle in the village of Hawija, south of Tal Abyad, which was cleared of terrorists in Turkiye’s 2019 “Operation Peace Spring”.

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Shamsa told Anadolu that making tandoors is “a laborious and tiring job”, especially considering her age and condition.

“Kneading clay with salt, water and straw is a very difficult and demanding process. I can only make five or six tandoors in a month,” she added.

“I collect cardboard from shops throughout the year to keep my grandchildren warm during the winter. We have very limited food,” Shamsa said.

The grandmother expressed great concern over the future of her grandchildren.

Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when the Bashar Al-Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity.

Tal Abyad was liberated from YPG/PKK terrorists by the Turkish Armed Forces and Syrian National Army on 13 October, 2019, during Turkiye’s counter-terror operation in northern Syria.

In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkiye, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organisation by Turkiye, the US and the European Union – has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and infants. The YPG is the PKK’s Syrian offshoot.

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