Hundreds of Syrians fled to Jordan on Saturday as allegations of a new chemical weapons attack reportedly fuelled a fresh exodus from Damascus towards the border region.
The Jordan Armed Forces said some 400 Syrians crossed into Jordan early Saturday, as Syrian rebels claimed that regime forces launched a new chemical weapons attack in the rebel-held town of Nabek on Friday, driving hundreds from the Damascene countryside into southern Syria.
The rumoured attack, in which Damascus reportedly deployed sarin gas against rebel forces and civilians in the town, left at least eight dead and drove hundreds from their homes.
“Tens of families are leaving their homes and going towards Jordan,” said Abu George Al Golani, a Free Syrian Army commander based on the outskirts of Damascus, some 15 kilometres from the a site of the alleged incident.
“They remember Ghouta and know that the only place where they can live without fear of a massacre by this regime is outside Syria,” he said, in reference to a chemical attack in central Damascus in August that left over 1,000 dead and drove hundreds of civilians into Jordan.
Syrian activists claim that some 300 residents of the under-siege village of Nabek fled for the border town of Tal Shihab — the most fortified rebel-held town along the country’s southern border and a key transit point on migrant routes into Jordan.
Meanwhile, regime forces reportedly continued a two-month aerial offensive across southern Syria near the border region, reportedly threatening the lives of hundreds of refugees.
Rebels claim that the air strikes have killed over 170 stranded Syrians seeking to flee to Jordan.
The Kingdom has opened its borders to around 600,000 Syrians since the onset of the conflict, an influx set to cost the country over $2.1 billion this year alone, according to Jordanian officials.
By Taylor Luck
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