AMMAN — Jordan called for emergency international aid on Wednesday in light of a sudden influx of tens of thousands of Syrian refugees.
Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh said the government has called on the international community for “urgent aid” in order to cope with an “unprecedented” exodus that saw the arrival of more than 20,000 Syrian refugees over the past six days.
“We are making contacts with all international organisations and donor countries to tell them that the camps in Jordan are almost at capacity,” Judeh told The Jordan Times on the sidelines of a press conference on the results of Wednesday’s parliamentary elections.
Due to the sudden influx, the Kingdom’s refugee facilities are in “dire need” of renovation, Judeh said, indicating that the authorities are looking for “new solutions” to confront the growing humanitarian crisis.
Judeh stressed government’s desire to maintain an open-border policy with Syria, but refused to rule out closing the borders to refugees if it becomes necessary.
According to security sources, the week-old Syrian exodus reached record highs late Tuesday, when some 6,000 Syrians crossed into Jordan in a 12-hour period.
In light of the near-constant waves of refugees, security sources said the Jordan Armed Forces have launched what officials are calling its “largest operation” on Jordanian soil.
“We are sending convoys of trucks and opening medical clinics at the border,” said a source stationed along the border.
“The northern region looks more like a war zone than a border.”
Some 300 injured Syrians were among Tuesday’s arrivals, the source added, the bulk of whom received emergency first aid at makeshift medical clinics along the border.
Authorities took the injured Syrians to hospitals in the border cities of Mafraq and Ramtha, where some 30 were listed in critical condition.
The mass exodus comes amid spiralling violence across Syria, with rebels accusing Damascus of carrying out aerial assaults on nearly all of the country’s urban centres.
“Every city, every town is under missile fire,” said Abu Hani, a coordinator of the Free Syrian Army based near the southern city of Daraa.
The spike in violence has triggered a mass migration of internally displaced Syrians to the border, activists said, claiming that some 20,000 refugees have amassed along the border.
“Unless the regime stops its monstrous crimes soon, all of Syria will be in Jordan,” Abu Hani noted.
The Kingdom has maintained an open-border policy since the onset of the conflict in March 2011, granting refuge to over 300,000 of the 650,000 Syrians displaced across the region, the most of Syria’s neighbours.