‘Thousands of Syrians facing starvation in border region’


[28-10-2013 12:05 PM]

Ammon News - Jordan Times - Hundreds of Syrians fled to Jordan on Sunday amid reports that thousands of stranded refugees along the Jordanian-Syrian border are nearing starvation.

The Jordan Armed Forces said some 400 Syrians crossed into the Kingdom early Sunday, continuing a week-long rise in new arrivals that saw 2,000 crossings over the past four days.

Due to renewed violence across southern Syria that continued to cut off access routes into Jordan, the vast majority of the new arrivals entered via eastern desert routes near the Iraqi border, according to relief officials.

The influx came as regime shelling and intensified clashes between government and rebel forces continued to trap thousands of civilians in towns and villages along the Jordanian-Syrian border, cutting off large swathes of southern Syria from basic food supplies and humanitarian aid.

Syrian rebel officials and activists said more than 50,000 civilians across the border region remained cut off from basic food and medical supplies for the sixth straight week on Sunday, warning that some 20,000 displaced people are facing “starvation” in the under-siege southern towns.

“We have been unable to get any humanitarian aid or food supplies in for over two months,” said Mohammed Hourani, a coordinator with the Syrian National Coalition of the Opposition in the border town of Sheikh Al Maskin, where some 3,000 displaced Syrians have taken refuge and are reportedly facing dwindling food supplies.

“Children and women are eating leaves just to stop the pain,” Hourani added.

Free Syrian Army officials claim that over 200 displaced people have succumbed to starvation-related health complications over the past month, warning that the lives of “tens of thousands” more remain in danger if the international community fails to break the ongoing military siege.

Meanwhile, Damascus’ renewed aerial offensive across southern Syria entered its seventh straight week on Sunday, with Jordanian security sources and rebel officials reporting heavy shelling in the border towns of Al Nawa, Al Inkhee and Daal.

Some 4,000 stranded refugees remained threatened by Sunday’s bombing raids, according to rebel forces, who claim that over 110 displaced civilians have lost their lives in the military offensive.

Jordan has opened its borders to over 600,000 Syrians since the onset of the conflict in March 2011.




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