Syrian President Bashar Assad
Syrian President Bashar AssadIsrael news photo: Flash 90

Jordan plans to set up a refugee camp along its northern border, in order to accommodate what it fears will be mass numbers of Syrians fleeing the country as the security situation in Syria deteriorates. The government plans to spend over $1 million on the project, which will house thousands of refugees in about 1,000 family-sized tents, officials said.

If more refugees arrive, they will be joining about 10,000 who already live in Jordan. Most of these are Syrian families of means who left the country in the early days of the anti-government protests, and were able to rent apartments or rooms in Amman and other towns. The new round of refugees are not expected to be as well-off, and the Jordanian government is preparing to house and feed them at locations near the border.

The first camp will be built about 12 miles from the Syrian border, and Jordanian army troops will be on hand to escort refugees to the camps – and keep them there.

Jordan is working with the UN's refugee agency in setting up infrastructure for the refugee camps, and Amman will be relying on the UN to supply the refugees with food. Officials said that a UN warehouse outside Amman was stocked with supplies, such as blankets and tents, that could be deployed quickly in the event of a mass infiltration of refugees. The 300 square meter camp will the first of what officials expect to be several that will have to be set up in order to accommodate the refugees.