Despite international pressure, Jordan vows again to keep Syria border closed

Despite international pressure, Jordan vows again to keep Syria border closed
2 min read
03 July, 2018
Jordan's military has vowed again to keep the border with Syria closed, despite pressure from the UN and other bodies to admit refugees.
Jordan soldiers are not opening the border to Syrians [Anadolu]
Jordan's army has said that its border with Syria will remain closed, as thousands of Syrians flee to the frontier following a brutal assault on southern opposition regions by Bashar al-Assad's forces.

General Khaled al-Massaid, commander of Jordan's northern military region, told AFP that despite "95,000 civilians" fleeing to the border with Jordan - following the Syrian regime offensive on Daraa - troops would not be opening the gates to refugees.

"The borders are closed and the army is being very cautious with the displaced, fearing the presence of... infiltrators with weapons and disguised as women," he told the news agency.

The UN said on Monday 270,000 Syrians have already been displaced in the latest regime onslaught, which is backed by the Russian air force.

Around 70,000 refugees are stuck on the border seeking refuge in Jordan, most sleeping in the open air or in makeshift shelters, as regime forces advance in Daraa.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights spokeswoman Liz Throssel urged Jordan to open its border to the "thousands of refugees stranded without adequate shelter".

"We urge all parties to the conflict to protect civilians in southwestern Syria, and to protect those attempting to flee," she said. 
Jordan has repeatedly stated that it would keep the border closed despite the huge number of casualties caused by the regime offensive.

Jordan hosts around a million Syrian refugees in the country - 650,000 officially registered - most living in camps in the north and east of the kingdom.

Massaid said that despite the border closure, 86 trucks had crossed the frontier into Syria to provide aid over the past three days.

Jordanians and local groups have also provided aid to Syrians.