Dozens of Syrians injured crossing into Jordan
Dozens of Syrians were injured late Saturday while attempting to cross into Jordan, officials say, as Damascus intensified military operations in the border region.
According to a Jordanian security source, more than two-dozen Syrians were injured late Saturday after Syrian military forces opened fire on a group of some 400 refugees attempting to flee to Jordan.
Among the injured were four men who suffered burns and shrapnel wounds after a missile attack on the group, one of whom is currently listed in "serious condition," according to the source.
Saturday's incident comes amid a reported rise in the number of Syrians wounded while attempting to cross into Jordan, with the UN Refugee Agency reporting the arrival of 50 injured refugees last week alone.
Activists and relief officials claim Syrian government forces are actively targeting Syrians attempting to reach Jordan as part of a month-long military clampdown they say is designed to cut off a refugee flow that has led to more than 200,000 Syrians entering Jordan.
Although the military offensive succeeded in reducing a refugee exodus that once numbered 5,000 persons per day to "tens," relief officials say the number of Syrians fleeing to Jordan is once gain on the rise, with some 300 crossing on Saturday.
Noting that the military campaign has "dismantled" rebel human smuggling networks and safe houses, activists say they are under pressure to resume refugee crossing operations due to the "dire" humanitarian situation of thousands of displaced Syrians stranded in the border region.
"Right now it is not safe for anyone to cross into Jordan," said Abu Hani, a coordinator with the Free Syrian Army in southern Syria.
"But with the regime bombing village after village in the south, it is even less safe here."
Despite the recent spike in crossings, Syrian activists claim some 12,000 Syrian civilians remain displaced in the border region awaiting to enter Jordan after having fled violence in Homs, Aleppo, Damascus and elsewhere.
Jordan maintains an open border policy, and has granted refuge to 210,000 Syrians since the beginning of the crisis - the most of any of Syria's neighbours.