Thousands of Syrians stranded on Jordan’s border with Syria are running out of food as routes leading to their camp are closed by the Syrian army and Jordan is blocking aid deliveries, relief workers and refugees said on Thursday.
The Syrian army has tightened its siege of the camp, in Rukban, near the northeastern Jordanian border with Syria and Iraq, preventing smugglers and traders from delivering food to its 50,000 inhabitants, mostly women and children.
“More than a week ago the Syrian regime cut all the routes of supplies towards the camp. There are now only very small amounts of food that smugglers bring,” Abu Abdullah, the head of the civil affairs council that runs the camp, told Reuters.
“The camp is a balloon that could explode at any moment because of hunger, sickness and lack of aid … if the situation continues like this there will be real starvation,” he added by phone.In the last three years, tens of thousands of people have fled to the camp from Islamic State-held parts of Syria that were being targeted by Russian and U.S.-led coalition air strikes.
Jordan has since the start of the year blocked any aid deliveries to the camp over its frontier and says now that the Syrian government had recovered territory around the camp, it could not be made responsible for delivering aid.