Jordan says unable to host new wave of Syria refugees

A displaced Syrian girl from the Daraa province fleeing shellings by pro-government forces carries a toddler in a makeshift camp in the province of Quneitra, southwestern Syria, near the border with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, on June 22, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 24 June 2018
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Jordan says unable to host new wave of Syria refugees

  • Amman says it has spent more than $10 billion (8.5 billion euros) hosting Syrian refugees
  • Some 650,000 Syrian refugees have registered with the United Nations in Jordan

AMMAN: Jordan said Sunday it would be unable to host a new wave of Syrian refugees, as troops loyal to Damascus prepare an offensive for the war-torn country’s rebel-held south.
“The large number of Syrians we’re hosting in terms of financial resources and infrastructure does not allow for the reception of a new wave of asylum seekers,” Jumana Ghanimat, minister of state for media affairs, told AFP.
Some 650,000 Syrian refugees have registered with the United Nations in Jordan since fleeing their country’s seven-year war which was sparked by peaceful anti-government protests in 2011.
Amman estimates the actual number is closer to 1.3 million people and says it has spent more than $10 billion (8.5 billion euros) hosting them.
“Jordan has not and will not abandon its humanitarian role and its commitment to international charters, but it has exceeded its ability to absorb (more refugees),” said Ghanimat, who also serves as a spokeswoman for the government.
“Everyone should cooperate to deal with any new wave of displacement within Syria’s borders,” she said, adding Jordan would work with “concerned organizations” to find an arrangement for the displaced inside Syria.
Her comments came as Syrian government forces ready an offensive to retake the southern provinces of Daraa, Quneitra and parts of Sweida, still mostly held by rebels.
Southern Syria is a strategically vital zone: it borders both Jordan and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, and also lies close to Damascus.
After neutralising rebel strongholds on the edge of the capital earlier this year, President Bashar Assad is now turning his attention to the south.
In recent weeks regime forces have dropped leaflets over Daraa and Quneitra, warning of impending military operations and calling on the rebels to surrender.
“Jordan is in close contact with Washington and Moscow to maintain an agreement to reduce the escalation in southern Syrian,” Ghoneim said.
She said the kingdom was “following the current developments in southern Syrian to reach a formula that protects Jordanian interests along the border and the waves of asylum seekers.”
The UN on Thursday warned escalation in Syria’s south could have dangerous repercussions for the estimated 750,000 civilians in the rebel-held area.


US terror survey blames Iran for 'fomenting violence' in Middle East

Updated 23 min 55 sec ago
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US terror survey blames Iran for 'fomenting violence' in Middle East

  • The US has once again named Iran as the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism
  • The report said Iranian fighters and Iran-backed militias, like Lebanon's Hezbollah, had emerged emboldened

WASHINGTON: The US has once again named Iran as the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism, accusing it of intensifying numerous conflicts and trying to undermine governments throughout the Middle East.
The State Department's annual survey of global terrorism released on Wednesday said Iran and its proxies are responsible for fomenting violence in Afghanistan, Bahrain, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen. The report said Iranian fighters and Iran-backed militias, like Lebanon's Hezbollah, had emerged emboldened from the war in Syria and with valuable battlefield experience they seek to leverage elsewhere.
In addition, the survey reported a 24 percent decrease in attacks around the world between 2016 and 2017. That was due mainly to a sharp decline in the number of attacks in Iraq, where the Daesh group has been largely displaced.