Thursday, 21 March 2013

More Syrians flee to Jordan in face of rising border violence

AMMAN/MAFRAQ — Some 1,800 Syrians crossed into Jordan late Tuesday and early Wednesday, raising the total number of new arrivals for the month of March to some 35,000, according to the Jordan Armed Forces. Around 130 injured Syrians were among Wednesday’s influx, security sources said, with many of them suffering from bullet wounds sustained while attempting to cross into Jordan. The influx came despite reported clashes between Syrian regime and rebel forces in the border region. Jordanian security sources and Syrian activists reported rising violence across southern Syria late Wednesday, with heavy shelling in the border villages of Al Hayt, Shajarah, Al Tafs, Basr Al Harir and Al Nayamat. The violence came as Damascus renewed an aerial assault designed to repel recent rebel gains along the Jordanian-Syrian border. According to relief officials, a rise in violence has closed off traditional crossing routes from southwest Syria, forcing hundreds of refugees to navigate lesser-travelled eastern desert routes. Jordanian border guards have reported refugees crossing through 60 different points along the 370-kilometre border since Damascus launched its most recent offensive late last week. Abu Momen Al Dimashqi, one of hundreds of Syrians who risked their lives to cross into Jordan this week, says the offensive has transformed the crossing into a game of “life or death”. “The regime is bombing every village, every building and every vehicle in sight,” he said shortly after crossing into the Kingdom along with a group of some 500 Syrians late Tuesday. “No one can guarantee safe passage into Jordan but God.” There are currently over 450,000 Syrian refugees in Jordan.


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