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Border calm prevails as Syrian refugee flow continues

By Taylor Luck - Feb 07,2013 - Last updated at Feb 07,2013

AMMAN — Some 2,000 Syrians crossed into Jordan on Thursday amid an ongoing lull in violence along the border, according to the UN.

The influx raises the total number of new arrivals over the past week to 9,000.

Some 80 injured Syrians were among Thursday’s arrivals, most of whom were transferred to public hospitals in the border cities of Ramtha and Mafraq, security sources said.

Relative calm prevailed along the Jordanian-Syrian border for the third straight day, with reports of scattered clashes between Syrian regime and rebel forces.

According to Jordanian security sources, brief fire fights erupted between regime and rebel forces late Wednesday near the Syrian border towns of Tal Shihab and Nasib, with no major causalities reported.

The Jordanian-Syrian border was the site of a fierce pitched battle on Sunday when rebels launched an offensive to capture the strategic Ramtha and Nasib/Jafar crossing points.

Rebel forces suspended their 36-hour assault early Tuesday after failing to capture the border crossings, Syria’s main conduits to Jordan, but vowed to resume their offensive as early as next week.

Meanwhile, violence continued to intensify across Syria on Thursday, with the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reporting over 100 deaths near the cities of Daraa, Hama, Homs, Idlib and Damascus.

Activists say the regime’s ongoing aerial assaults against residential areas across the country and a rise in alleged massacres is driving thousands of internally displaced Syrians to southern Syria for safety.

As of late Thursday, some 10,000 Syrians had amassed along the border waiting to cross into the Kingdom.

Jordan has opened its borders to over 350,000 Syrians since the onset of the conflict in March 2011.

Officials say they expect the cost of hosting the rapidly growing refugee community to reach $1 billion in 2013. 

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