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Syria Refugee Crisis 2013

Updated on February 2, 2013

Peace in Syria

Syria the second Crisis

Zeeshan Esack 2013

SYRIA’S REFUGEE CRISIS

Since the beginning of the unrest in Syria, President Bashar al-Assad has continued to hold forth his position as a government resisting terrorist attacks on his country. Despite pressure and direct pleas from the international community, there has been no easing of the cracking down from the Syrian military. Aside from the mounting civilian and free army causalities, the number of people fleeing the violence has sharply increased in recent days, creating a crisis among surrounding countries. This massive influx of refugees into neighboring countries has deepened an already exhausted humanitarian crisis.

Jordan among the other surrounding nations taking in refugees from the violence has taken the brunt of the influx. It is estimated by UNHCR that an average of 1,000 Syrians are crossing into Jordanian borders daily. An even more alarming figure if the estimated 100,000 who feld Syria in August alone. This is becoming a serious issue for harboring countries. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Melissa Fleming has stated “it is very very difficult for the receiving countries to take such a huge sudden influx and accommodate them.” The flood of refugees has become a major crisis in the country and is beyond what Jordan can handle, according to Fayez Tarawaneh, the Jordanian Prime Minister. Turkey has put a ceiling on hits refugee accommodation at 100,000, but they have since raised the limit to 120,000. There is now a UNCHR estimated total of 246,267 Syrians who have fled as of September 2012.

In addition to the sanitation, food, and housing crisis for the refugees, there is the upcoming significant drop in temperature then winter which only worsen the situation. This is particularly important as Al Jazeera's correspondent Jane Arraf, reported from the Jordanian-Syrian border: "A lot of refugees are too afraid of Syrian security forces to travel in daylight. They set out in the dark, going through back roads and farmlands, some of them walking for days." These conditions will inevitably lead to more unnecessary deaths. There is little to no alternative options for residents in many of the major cities in Syria as the shelling by the army, and fighting is leaving no one safe. The pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat, recently quoted a confidential Jordanian government analysis as warning that as many as 1 million Syrians could eventually cross into Jordan, which would require some 20 refugee camps to be built.


The economic and political strains, to the incumbent countries are increasing beyond anyone’s estimate. It is not clear whether the system, currently in place to accommodate the refugee’s may break. Currently, there are no expectations or guesses as to where this conflict will end. We can be certain the world will be keeping a scrutinized eye as it continues to descend into further civil war. How long will president Bashar al-Assad continue to fight his proclaimed terrorist? Is the Syrian free army making headway in the fight for Syria? How many more causalities, will we see in the next weeks, or months? Only time can answer the most pressing questions, and unfortunately there are no winners in a war, however necessary it may be.

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