Thousands of Syrian refugees left stranded near Jordanian border
Monday, January 18, 2016

The desolate fringe of northern Jordan is no place for a child. The winter sun beats down light, but little heat, and the wind burns hands and cheeks. A fine, gritty dust sticks to teeth and tongue. It is no place for pregnant women and nursing mothers, for the wounded and old and infirm, but they are here in their thousands, having hit a dead end on their flight from Syria’s war.

About 17,000 Syrian refugees are stranded at a handful of settlements in the demilitarized zone in the far-flung eastern desert where Jordan and Syria meet. Nearly 1,000 more arrive each week, many from northern and eastern Syria, places like Homs, Hama, Raqqa and Deir ez-Zour – cities that have been hammered by Russian and coalition air strikes since late September.

The Jordanian border force, which controls the area where refugees have gathered, attributes the rapid increase – from 3,000 people in mid-September to nearly 17,000 this week – to Russia’s aerial campaign in Syria.

 

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Source: The Globe and Mail