Rogue Syrian missiles land in northern Jordan - no casualties
The Jordan-Syrian border
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Over the weekend, there have been reports that a number of missiles, fired from Syria, landed in the northern territories of Jordan.
On Sunday, news broke that several errant Syrian missiles landed near the village of Thneibat outside Ramtha, which lies in the north of the country, 70km from Amman. Sources from the area say that several dunumns (acres) of farmland were set alight and that no injuries or casualties were reported.
These claims followed news that on Friday night, several Syrian missiles had landed near the village of Sama Sahran, just outside of Mafraq, 80 km from Amman. According to eyewitnesses, farmland was the only casualty of the missiles.
Mafraq is home to the Al Zaatari camp, the largest Syrian refugee camp in Jordan that houses an estimated 100,000 displaced persons, most of them women and children. The majority of Syrian refugees who fled the country have relocated to Jordan, with government estimatates saying that over half a million Syrians are now living in the country. The UN has stated that, if the exodus of Syrians into neighbouring countries continues at the same rate it is now, Jordan will have some 1.2 million Syrian refugees by the end of 2013.
Jordan has made repeated appeals to the international community, calling for help shouldering the responsibility of hosting such a considerable number of refugees, the largest of all Syria's neighbours. The over half a million refugees living in the country now represent a 10 per cent increase of the country's population. Despite maintaining an open border policy in the face of the grave humanitarian situation facing the refugees, Jordan's infrastructure is being put under considerable strain, especially in the sectors of healthcare and education.
Increased violence near the Jordanian borders cannot be denied as Damascus intensified its aerial bombardment of areas known to contain rebel soldiers over the past two weeks. Concentrated regime bombing of the southern Syrian towns of Taybeh, Dalaa and Al Massmiya, which are all in close proximity to northern Jordan, has been reported as the armed forces loyal to President Bashar Assad seek to diminish rebel-strongholds in the south of the country.
Sources from the Police Directorate in Ramtha were unavailable for comment.