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Sunday, December 30, 2012
Excerpts: Syrian refugees to Jordan December 30, 2012

Excerpts: Syrian refugees to Jordan December 30, 2012

+++SOURCE: Naharnet (Lebanon) 30 Dec.’12:”(UN-Arab league envoy)Brahimi
Warns Lebanon Can No Longer support massive influx of Syrian refugees”

SUBJECT: Syrian refugees in Jordan

QUOTE: “there are more than 170,000 Syrian refugees in the country( Jordan);
IMRA: Dec.30 Jordan Times puts Syrian refugees at more than 270,000]

FULL TEXT:U.N.-Arab League peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi stressed on
Saturday[29 Dec.] that Lebanon can no longer support the large influx of
Syrian refugees fleeing the crisis in neighboring Syria.

“The problem can no longer be ignored,” Brahimi said during a joint press
conference with Russian Foreign Minister Sergie Lavrov in Moscow.

Recently, sharp differences emerged between Lebanese officials over a
proposal by Free Patriotic Minister Jebran Bassil to close the border
between Lebanon and Syria, as those who oppose this move argue that the
refugees would use the illegal border crossings.

There are currently more than 170,000 Syrian refugees in the country,
according to figures released by the United Nations High Commissioner for
Refugees on Friday[28 Dec.].

The intense fighting between forces loyal to President Bashar Assad and
rebels battling to overthrow him has sparked a huge exodus of Syrians and
Palestinians to neighboring countries.

The United Nations has appealed for $1 billion to fund refugee operations
until June.

A United Nations report published in December predicted that the number of
Syrian refugees would double to more than one million in the next six months

+++SOURCE: Jordan Times 30 Dec.’12:”Border violence fuels Syrian exodus to
Jordan”, by Taylor Luck
SUBJECT: Syrian refuges to Jordan
QUOTE:”Jordan follows an open-border policy, having granted refuge to over
270,000 Syrians since the onset of the conflict in March 2011.”
FULL TEXT:AMMAN — Syrians are pouring into Jordan by the thousands, relief
officials say, in the face of what a security source called the fiercest
clashes along the Jordanian-Syrian border since the onset of the ongoing
civil conflict in the Kingdom’s northern neighbour.

According to the UN, an average of 600 Syrians a day have fled to Jordan
over the past week, including 1,400 new arrivals on Thursday and Friday
[27-28 Dec].

The influx in refugees comes amid what officials say are intensified clashes
in southern Syria as Damascus attempts to reassert control over strategic
points along the border.

“The shelling has increased each day over the past week,” said a security
source stationed near the border region, who did not give his name as he was
not authorised to speak to the press.

“We have not seen fighting on this scale so close to Jordan.”

The peak of the weekend’s clashes came on Friday[28 Dec.] morning, when Free
Syrian Army forces allegedly attempted to storm a crossing point near the
Syrian town of Yaduda, some seven kilometres northwest of the border city of
Daraa.

Although Damascus managed to repel the attack, clashes between regime and
rebel forces strayed near Jordanian territory, prompting Jordanian border
forces to fire several “warning shots”, officials said.

“Most of Friday’s[28 Dec.] clashes between regime and rebel groups were
fought in the no-man’s land and we were forced to fire warning shots to
prevent them from entering Jordanian land,” the source at the border added.

The weekend’s clashes came as part of what activists are billing as the
“definitive battle” for southern Syria, as regime forces attempted to regain
large swathes of territory reportedly under the control of rebel forces.

In addition to large sections of southern cities such as Daraa, Nasib and
Turra, rebel forces claim to control up to 90 per cent of the 370-kilometre
Jordanian-Syrian border.

Despite still being unable to seize control of major crossing points between
Jordan and Syria, rebel forces say they are poised to exert “full control”
over the borders next month.

“The regime is entering its final days: Each day we survive its missiles and
tanks is one more day we are set to outlive it,” said Abu Hani, a Free
Syrian Army coordinator stationed near Daraa.

“In three weeks, visitors to southern Syria will be greeted by Free Syrian
Army border police.”

Activists say recent gains along the border region have facilitated the
transfer of refugees, but some 8,000 displaced Syrians from Idlib, Homs and
Damscus are currently waiting to cross into Jordan.

Jordan follows an open-border policy, having granted refuge to over 270,000
Syrians since the onset of the conflict in March, 2011

==========
Sue Lerner - Associate, IMRA

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