REFUGEE CAMP Abu Ahmed arrived in this refugee camp just over the Jordanian
border after walking over 50
miles. He is haggard after two sleepless nights, and
suffering chest pain for a wound he received while fighting with the Syrian
rebels against Syrian President Bashar Assad.
came close to dying twice,” he whispers to The Media Line, clearly almost
out of strength. “The first time was during a battle when the army ambushed us
in farmland in Etseel (west Deraa). The second time was when the army bombed
the field hospital where I was receiving treatment."
34 year old former schoolteacher is one of dozens, perhaps hundreds, of injured
Syrians who came to Jordan
seeking treatment from wounds sustained in fighting in the border town of Deraa. Like most
refugees, he asked to use only his first name, fearing for relatives still in Syria.
Had Abu Ahmed not made the risky trip across the border with Jordan, he believes he would have
bled to death.
could die from a simple wound. Field hospitals are difficult to access and
medical supplies are rare," he told the Media Line while lying on a
cot at a clinic in Zataari camp, where there are already 40,000 Syrian refugees.
After his wound was dressed, the short, husky man left the clinic and went to
his tent for some much-needed sleep.
said that the field hospital in Syria
where he was first treated was set up in an orchard, protected by branches and hidden
under a tree.
Ahmed is among the lucky ones to be treated by a veterinarian, joked an injured
people were treated by midwives, medical students or even people without any
training," Abu Yasmin told The Media Line. "It is no longer safe to
set up field clinics in homes. The fighters are erecting field hospitals in
dungeons, caves underground or in orchards.”
said larger numbers of refugees have been crossing to Jordan than
ever, amid fears of an exodus of entire towns as the level of violence
a single night last week, at least 20 civilians and rebels crossed from the
north western border of Deraa near Yarmouk Rive to Ramtha, including women and
children, said medical sources.
said the Syrian army has recently intensified its shelling on a number of towns in the
southern province, including Etseel, Hafna, Heit, Abdeen and Shajara on the
western edge of Deraa, near the border with Jordan.
is a risky business as Syrian troops often open fire on refugees.
the past two months, several refugees were reported killed near the border by
has adopted an open border policy to accommodate the increasing number of
refugees. A Jordanian military source said the army often shoots back at Syrian
troops to provide cover for Syrian refugees who want to enter Jordan. He admitted their efforts do
not always work.
one month, at least four refugees were killed while trying to cross, including
one child," the source told the Media Line.
spokesman Sameeh Mayta said authorities in Amman will continue carrying out their
humanitarian duty to receive and protect refugees, but warned that the
cash-strapped kingdom needs international aid. Mayta pointed to continuous
efforts with the major international bodies to improve service to refugees.
are today an estimated 150,000 Syrian refugees in Jordan, about 38,000 in Zaatari refugee
camp. Jordanian officials say they are planning to open a new refugee camp in Zarqa
to accommodate more refugees who are expected to flee to the kingdom as the war
arrivals say they bring little with them, except their said stories.
Rami Hassan, 45-year-old
farmer from Deraa city, said dozens of families were left stranded during
shelling and vulnerable to indiscriminate army raids.
man in Deraa is subject to being arrested, or even killed, on the spot. The
Syrian army is going mad, thinking all civilians carry guns to shoot at
them," said Hassan,
who arrived in Jordan
with his injured young sister last month.
Hassan said he carried his
sister on his shoulders for 10 hours to take her across the border.
was injured in her leg and we put cloths as bandages to stop the bleeding, but
had she not received treatment, her leg would have been amputated," Hassan
told the Media Line. "Horror is everywhere. People do not know where to
run anymore. There is shelling everywhere.”