News / Middle East

Syrian Refugees Struggle in Jordanian Camps

Syrian Refugees Struggle in Jordanian Campsi
|| 0:00:00
X
Setareh Sieg
October 25, 2012 11:03 PM
Jordan is bearing a huge burden of refugees as the crisis escalates in neighboring Syria. More than 38,000 Syrian refugees have taken shelter in the United Nations-run Zaatari camp in northern Jordan. As VOA's Setareh Sieg reports, many are suffering from a lack of water and proper sanitary conditions and from frequent desert sand storms.

Syrian Refugees Struggle in Jordanian Camps

Setareh Sieg
Jordan is bearing a huge burden of refugees as the crisis escalates in neighboring Syria. More than 38,000 Syrian refugees have taken shelter in the United Nations-run Zaatari camp in northern Jordan.  Many are suffering from a lack of water and proper sanitary conditions and from frequent desert sand storms.

Up until August of this year, Ahmad was a colonel in the Syrian Army. But when his village in Daraa was attacked by the Syrian air force, he decided to cross the border into Jordan with his wife and five children to the Zaatari Refugee Camp.

He has since joined the Free Syrian Army...Ahmad blames Iran, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and Hezbollah for the regime's survival.

"Iran, Iraq and Hezbollah are helping Assad. Most of the weapons that the Syrian army has are Iranian weapons and the trainers are Iranian Republican," Ahmad said.

The Pentagon has raised concerns about the growing presence of Iran in Syria saying it is training a militia to help the regime battle the rebels.

At the camp's French-run medical clinic, one man, who would not give his name, said he was shot by a sniper in Damascus and had his leg amputated. "I saw my cousin die. I saw a lot of people die. It's very bad.  I want the President to go," he said.

Other refugees describe scenes of slaughtered civilians and executed rebel fighters.

Karen Whiting of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees says close to 500 refugees arrive at the camp every night.

“Right now we are getting ready to provide for the winter which means getting more of these prefab houses you see right here.  And for those people who do not get a house we will provide winterized tents," Whiting said.

Hundreds of thousands of Syrians have also sought refuge across the country's borders with Turkey, Lebanon and Iraq.

With Iran's support for Bashar al-Assad - and Saudi Arabia and other Sunni countries such as Qatar backing the opposition, some fear that Syria could become the scene of a long civil war between Sunnis and Shi'ites that would destabilize the region.

For refugees like Ahmad, a resolution leading to victory can come from any quarter.

"Even if the action comes from Israel,  we would accept it to get rid of Bashar.  Israel even in its fight with Gaza did not kill as much as Bashar killed.  Since the day of Israeli occupation they did not kill as much as Bashar has killed,” Ahmad said.

The Assad government says it is trying to protect the Syrian people from the rebels whom it characterizes as terrorists.

You May Like

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

There is growing uncertainty over whether West’s response to ISIS is adequate More

China Crackdown on Dual Citizens Causes Concern

New policy encourages reporting people who obtain citizenship in another country, but retain Chinese citizenship; move spurs sharp debate More

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

Losing ground to Islamic State fighters, Syria's government says it is ready to cooperate with international community More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?i
X
Henry Ridgwell
August 29, 2014 12:26 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Pachyderms Play Polo to Raise Money for Elephants

Polo, the ancient team competition typically played on horseback, is known as the “sport of kings.” However, the royal version for one annual event in Thailand swaps the horse for the kingdom’s national symbol - the elephant. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Samut Prakan reports that the King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament is all for a good cause.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid