Amman, Jordan (CNN)At least 270,000 Syrians — more than the population of Orlando, Florida — have fled their homes in southwest Syria since the government launched an offensive against rebels more than two weeks ago, according to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).
The refugees are heading to the borders with Jordan and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, but neither country is willing to accept them.
The agency believes that the number of displaced people is likely to grow as fighting in the region continues.
Around 6.2 million Syrians have been displaced since the conflict began in 2011 — and a further 6.3 million have fled the country as refugees, according to a recent UNHCR report.
The latest exodus began after the Russian-backed Syrian regime launched an offensive to take Daraa province, located south of the capital Damascus. Syrian forces are wresting control from the Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army, as well as terror groups ISIS and Jabhat Fateh al-Sham.
Jordan and Israel are providing aid to the displaced but are refusing to allow Syrian refugees inside their countries. Jordan is already hosting 1.3 million Syrian refugees but closed its borders in 2016 after an ISIS suicide attack killed six of its border guards.
Speaking Friday, Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said that the resource-poor kingdom had “reached its capacity.”
Israel does not typically take in Syrian refugees, except to give them medical treatment. Israel has delivered four shipments of aid to displaced people living in tent camps near the Golan Heights border, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said last week.
The deliveries included 300 tents, 13 tons of food, 15 tons of baby food, three pallets of medical equipment and medicine and 30 tons of clothing and footwear, according to the IDF.
The army reiterated in its statement Friday that the country “cannot permit Syrians fleeing hostilities to enter Israel, and will continue maintaining Israel’s security interests.”
Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2018/07/02/middleeast/syria-daraa-displacement-numbers-grow-intl/index.html