Jordan hosting 2,130 Syrian army defectors
Syrian army soliders walk in the Damascus suburb of Jobar in August. Jordan said on Sunday that it is currently housing over 2,000 Syrian army defectors. (AFP)
Jordan hosts around 2,130 Syrian army defectors of various ranks, who live in a special military complex, according to Jordanian Interior Minister Hussein Majali.
In an interview with Al Rai daily published Sunday, Majali said that Jordan takes into consideration the humanitarian dimension when receiving Syrians fleeing violence in their country, adding that Jordan will remain a safe haven for all but not at the expense of the safety and security of Jordanians.
The minister said that the mass exodus of Syrians to the Kingdom would be Jordan's biggest challenge in the face of any US-led military action in Syria, but indicated that the possibility of a strike against Syria has diminished.
“Since the start of the Syrian crisis, Jordan has always stressed that political solution is the only way to end the crisis. Killing brings only more killings,” Majali reiterated.
On the number of Syrians in Jordan, the minister said that there are over 1.3 million currently living in the country, of whom 135,000 live in refugee camps.
He indicated that the government has recently formed a ministerial committee to count the exact number of Syrians in the country.
Majali also indicated that the government has put in place an emergency plan to deal with all scenarios regarding the Syrian crisis, adding the plan anticipates tens of thousands of Syrians will enter Jordan and takes into consideration how to ensure their safe passage from the Syrian borders into the Kingdom.
"But the main problem we could face in any scenario would be how to carry out security checks on all refugees entering the country in light of a mass exodus,” he noted.