Saturday, 11 August 2012

Fighting between the Jordanian and Syrian armed forces at the border of the two countries.

Syrian governement forces fired with small arms against refugees trying to cross the border between Jordan and Syria provoking a response from the Jordanian soldiers. Initial reports indicated there were no casualties on their side, said a Jordanian military source. 

A Syrian opposition activist who witnessed the fighting said armored vehicles were involved in the clash in the Tel Shihab-Turra area, about 80 km (50 miles) north of the Jordanian capital Amman, that occurred after Syrian refugees tried to cross into Jordan.

Western nations and regional powers fear the Syrian conflict could spill into neighboring countries. The 17-month uprising has turned into a civil war with a sectarian angle that has the West lining up with Sunni Muslim nations behind the mainly Sunni rebels and against President Bashar al-Assad, a member of the Alawite minority sect, an offshoot of Shi'ite Islam.

Syria's long border with Jordan has been an escape route for opponents of Assad, including Prime Minister Riad Hijab who defected this week.

Jordan is straining to build more camps to accommodate refugees from Syria's south, where the uprising against President Bashar Assad's government began in March 2011. An estimated 4,000 Syrians arrived in Jordan on one recent night alone.

A team of French military doctors headed to the Syria-Jordan border on Thursday, August 9, 2012, to set up a mobile hospital to treat refugees fleeing Syrian violence. The medics aim to be operative by the end of the week and to perform up to 10 surgeries a day on those wounded in fighting. 

 Asian Defence News

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