Jordan Beefs Up Border with Syria
Jordan's King Abdullah II has decided to beef up the country's northern border. Israel has made similar moves in recent days.
Abdullah II said Monday, however, that the Hashemite Kingdom was still accepting refugees from its northern neighbor.
Nevertheless, the monarch added he had sent Jordanian troops to secure the country's border with Syria due to the escalating chaos.
Currently there are at least 140,000 refugees who have crossed Syria's southern border to safety into Jordan.
A new Zaatri refugee camp has just been built, with 200 tents to house Syrian refugees in the city of Mafraq on the Jordanian-Syrian border, northeast of Amman. The government of Jordan is preparing new camps to receive the processing of Syrian refugees, in anticipation of the displacement of large numbers of them.
The UNHCR (United Nations Refugee Agency) has been bracing for an exodus from Syria and a month ago it doubled its forecast for the number of refugees who could flee this year to 185,000, Reuters reported.
Iraq has also opened its borders to admit refugees from Syria, on the orders of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, who told border officials to allow the refugees into the county, a senior border commander said.
"The order came 30 minutes ago," General Issam Yassim told Reuters at Iraq's southern Al-Waleed border crossing with Syria, 560 km west of Baghdad. He said it applied to all Iraqi border crossings with Syria.
Turkey, meanwhile, recalled its consul from the northern Syrian city of Aleppo due to the ongoing battles there.
Several months ago Turkey closed its embassy in Damascus due to the violence in the country.
Commanders of the opposition forces in Aleppo said they opened an offensive with the objective of “liberating” the city from the control of President Bashar al-Assad's forces.