DAMASCUS, April 20, 2013 — A pro-government Syrian TV says that about 5,000 Syrian refugees have returned to the country’s southern province of Daraa.
Most of the returnees are families and children coming from al- Zatari camp in Jordan, the al-Ekhbaria TV said Saturday, claiming that the Jordanian authorities have stripped the returnees off their identification documents “in order to keep acquiring aid under the name of those refugees.”
The event came a day after 10 Jordanian policemen were reportedly wounded when a riot erupted in al-Zatari after a number of Syrian refugees tried to break out of the camp, which is located near the borders with Syria. The Jordanian government said tens of Syrians hurled the Jordanian policemen with stones and the authorities responded with tear gas.
The camp, opened last July, houses around 150,000 Syrian refugees who fled the violence in their border towns and sought refuge in Jordan.
However, the refugees have repeatedly complained of deteriorating situation in the camp and many have asked to be returned to Syria.
The cash-strapped Jordanian government has appealed to the international community and humanitarian organizations for help to manage the needs of growing number of refugees. Moreover, the government has recently opened another border camp to house more Syrians.
Tension has heightened recently between the Syrian and Jordanian governments over reports that the U.S.-backed kingdom is facilitating the move of armed radical groups from its territory into Syria.
Western reports also revealed that the United States had opened training camps in Jordan for the Syrian rebels, prompting the Syrian government to warn Jordan against such stance.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said recently that the fire will not stop at the Syrian border, warning that it will spill over into neighboring and regional countries.
On Wednesday, U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said his country would deploy 200 troops to Jordan in the coming weeks as part of the efforts to contain violence on the Syrian border, as well as set the groundwork for combating any perceived threats of chemical weapons use in Syria.
Experts believe that the U.S. recent tactic to deploy troops on the borders would be conducive in increasing regional instability, comparing it to the time when the United States was poised to invade Iraq in 2003.