Jordan, a staunch U.S. ally, declared the area a closed military zone after a suicide bomber, believed to be an Islamic State militant, drove a vehicle last Tuesday from the Syrian side and rammed it into a military base close to Rukban camp, killing seven border guards.
Aid workers said convoys of food that normally go to the camp were being held up for a sixth day in Ruwaished, the closest town to Rukban camp, which is far from any inhabitable place. Only water trucks were being allowed through.
“Access continues to be denied and we are concerned because these trapped people have basic needs,” said Hala Shamlawi of the International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC).
Relief workers said the few supplies coming into the area were from smuggler rings inside Syria.
“We know the food rations will run out soon, probably in a few days’ time. … This is a matter of concern,” said Dina El Kassaby, regional representative of World Food Program (WFP).
The authorities gave no explanation for blocking aid that affects between 60,000 to 70,000 refugees, mostly women and children, who have been stranded for months in a no-man’s land at the only crossing where Jordan now receives refugees.
Since Russia expanded its airstrikes against Islamic State-held areas in central and eastern Syria, the number of refugees trekking south across the desert to the Jordanian border has risen sharply, according to U.N. aid workers.
But Jordan, which has already accepted more than 600,000 U.N.-registered Syrian refugees, fears Islamic State militants may have infiltrated the ranks of those arriving at the border.
Earlier waves of Syrian refugees had a much easier time entering Jordan, but the kingdom sealed border crossings near population centers in 2013 in an attempt to stem the flow.
Sep 27, 2020Bangladesh is hosting more than one million Rohingya, a mainly Muslim minority community who are stateless, most of whom fled following a wave of violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine state in 2017. “More than three years have elapsed. Regrettably, not a single Rohingya could be repatriated. The problem was created by Myanmar, and its solution must […]
Sep 26, 2020