Syrian Refugees Buy Freedom for $750

(Times of Israel) Micha and Natan Odenheimer - Some 130,000 desperate Syrians have entered Jordan over the last year, several thousand in the past two weeks alone. Muhamad snuck across the border with his wife and children in the middle of the night through the mountains, braving possible sniper fire from Syrian soldiers. There are two ways to cross the border: at night, through the wilderness, risking one's life, or during the day, by bribing Syrian border officials. The price the Syrian border police exact for the privilege of passage is $750. The Jordanians let people in for free. One of his friends in the refugee camp, a soldier in the regime, defected 17 days ago with most of his platoon mates, says Muhamad. They were spotted by the regime's soldiers near the border and shot at. Out of 20, only five made it to Jordan. Hisham, who escaped a year ago, says Iran now has 15,000 soldiers in Syria. Fighters from Hizbullah are also deeply involved. "One of my friends, part of a rebel group, captured a group of 11 Lebanese Hizbullah soldiers," he tells us.

2012-07-18 00:00:00

Full Article


Visit the Daily Alert Archive