Jordan keeps border closed as Syrians flee

Aaron Brown
June 29, 2018

This photo provided Monday, June 25, 2018, by Nabaa Media, a Syrian opposition media outlet, shows smoke rising over buildings that were hit by Syrian government forces bombardment, in Busra al-Harir, in Daraa, southern Syria. Last month, Washington said it would take "firm and appropriate measures" to protect the cease-fire, but activists in the region say rebel groups have since been told not to expect an American intervention to defend them. Israel rarely comments on such strikes. But it remains unclear whether Moscow has the ability or willingness to impose its will on the Syrian government and its Iranian and militia allies.

Jordan has sealed its border, insisting it will take no more Syrians as it is already hosting 660,000 Syrian refugees, as well as more than one million additional unregistered displaced civilians fleeing the neighboring civil war.

It had long stressed it would expand operations to recover the territory it lost after the war began in 2011, and Daraa is next on the list.

Two Israeli missiles landed in the vicinity of Damascus International Airport on Monday night. It said the fighting closed supply routes, causing a spike in prices of fuel and other basic supplies.

Jordan's King Abdullah then urged the global community to provide support for the stranded refugees but some were eventually allowed into the country - or at least the heavily restricted conditions of desert refugee camps.

In talks with concerned parties, Safadi Tweeted, Amman focuses on the need to halt bloodshed, support a political solution and help displaced people inside Syria.

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Along with the barrel bombs - containers stuffed with explosives - the helicopters dropped leaflets saying the army was coming and urging people to "kick out the terrorists as your brothers did in eastern Ghouta", the sources said.

But Jordan - already home to nearly 700,000 registered Syrian refugees - said it would keep its border shut. Such strikes have increased in frequency amid soaring tensions between Israel and Iran, a major Assad ally.

Government news agency SANA said the strikes were a prelude "before military units advance into the southeastern quarter of the city".

The strikes targeted weapons caches of militias close to the Syrian regime, according to the Observatory, which noted the country's air defenses failed to intercept the missiles.

There was no immediate word on casualties.

The region is politically sensitive because of its location near Israel and Jordan and the existence there of a "de-escalation" deal agreed between the U.S., Jordan and Syrian government ally Russian Federation.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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