Syrian refugees demand Kerry implement no-fly zone

Secretary of state visits Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan, meets with frustration at int'l failure to end Syrian civil war.

July 18, 2013 13:37
2 minute read.
Syrian refugees at the Zaatari camp in Jordan

Syrian refugees at Zaatari camp in Jordan 370 (R). (photo credit: Muhammad Hamed / Reuters)

ZAATARI REFUGEE CAMP, Jordan - Syrian refugees angrily told US Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday that the United States should set up a no-fly zone and


Kerry made an aerial tour of the tents and pre-fabricated, container-like homes that form by far the biggest camp for Syrians in Jordan. Meeting refugees afterward in a fenced-off administrative section, he acknowledged the anger.

"They are frustrated and angry at the world for not stepping in and helping," Kerry told reporters.

"I explained to them I don't think it's as cut and dry and as simple as some of them look at it. But if I were in their shoes I would be looking for help from wherever I could find it." Kerry did not enter the area of the vast camp where the refugees live, but kept to the adjacent, fenced-off administrative area where humanitarian officials work and live. The half dozen refugees came to meet Kerry in a conference room within the administrative zone.

"We are not satisfied with the American answer. We never were. We just need ... action," a second woman told reporters after meeting Kerry.

During the meeting, Kerry told the refugees that many young Americans had died or lost their limbs "fighting for the freedom of Iraq" and "fighting for the freedom of Afghanistan".

After the request for buffer and no-fly zones, Kerry said: "A lot of different options are under consideration. I wish it was very simple. As you know, we've been fighting two wars for 12 years. We are trying to help in various ways, including helping Syrian opposition fighters have weapons.

"We are doing new things. There is consideration of buffer zones and other things but it is not as simple as it sounds."

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