Tens of thousands of Syrian refugees stranded at the Jordanian border are living in increasingly dire conditions, Human Rights Watch (HRW) warned on Wednesday. 

“The latest satellite images confirm that the humanitarian crisis at the Rukban encampment has not been resolved, and appears to be getting worse,” said Nadim Houry, the group's deputy Middle East director.

“Jordan should immediately allow humanitarian agencies to resume life-saving aid deliveries to alleviate their suffering,” the watchdog said.

The Jordanian authorities have declared the area a military zone after an attack by the Islamic State on a nearby border post on June 21. Since then, almost all aid to the approximately 70,000 people, mostly women and children, stuck there, have been suspended.

The HRW analysis of the satellite imagery indicates that the number and density of Syrian tent shelters at Rukban on August 31 has not changed since June 24.

The Jordanian authorities have stranded tens of thousands of Syrian asylum seekers in a desolate desert area north of a raised sand barrier, or berm, since July 2014.

The barrier marks the limit of a demilitarized zone, which ends several hundred metres south of the Syrian-Jordanian border.

"Over the summer, humanitarian workers appear to have modified the location of water distribution sites following the government’s decision to restrict humanitarian aid. These sites are located in Jordan proper, outside the demilitarized zone and between two berms," the statement said.

Jordan currently hosts 655,217 of the 4.6 million Syrians registered with the UN Refugee Agency since the civil war broke out about five years ago.

 

Latest news

Messi's last minute penalty saves Barcelona from shock draw

Barcelona beat Leganes 2-1 with a last minute penalty from Lionel Messi in the Spanish first division on Sunday.

At least 30 injured after explosion in Bogota

A explosion in the Macarena area of Bogota injured at least 30 people on Sunday, many of them police officers who were guarding a bull running through the streets of the Colombian capital.

Vojvodina institutions hold conference on Bunjevci's non-Croat ethnic background

There are around 16,000 members of the Bunjevci community in Vojvodina who deny their Croat ethnic background. They are represented by the Bunjevci National Council which enjoys the support of state authorities, and, since the change of government in Vojvodina, of the provincial authorities as well.

SpaceX rocket blasts off from historic launch pad en route to ISS

A commercial rocket built by SpaceX is on its way to the International Space Station (ISS) with a load of research equipment, cargo and supplies, NASA said Sunday.

Defence deals worth 1.2 billion dollars announced at key UAE show

Deals worth nearly 4.4 billion dirhams (1.2 billion dollars) were reached at a major defence show that opened Sunday in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), an official said.

Thousands protest in Malta against controversial press law reforms

Thousands of people attended a demonstration in Malta on Sunday, answering a call by the main opposition party to protest against what it described as a threat to democracy and freedom of expression.

London's mayor calls for Trump's state visit to be cancelled

US President Donald Trump should be denied a state visit to Britain due to his "cruel and shameful" immigration policies, London Mayor Sadiq Khan said Sunday.

'Now more than ever': US scientists gird for confrontation with Trump

Normally any annual gathering of American scientists is relatively non-political. But, with Donald Trump in the White House, things are different at this year's meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Many researchers are worried about their future and are urging colleagues to protest - and remain vigilant.

Int'l conference on post-war monuments in post-communist Europe held in Zagreb

The event was organised by the Zagreb-based association SF:ius in cooperation with the Croatian chapter of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS).

Serbians wouldn't go to war for Kosovo - poll

A majority of citizens in Serbia wouldn't go to war to claim back Kosovo, shows a survey conducted by the Serbian nongovernmental organisation "Belgrade Centre for Security Policy".

Grabar-Kitarovic, Lavrov find solution to air pollution caused by Bosanski Brod oil refinery

Croatia and Russia have found a solution for the problem of air pollution caused by a Russian-owned oil refinery in Bosanski Brod, northern Bosnia and Herzegovina, which has been poisoning residents of Slavonski Brod, a town across the Sava River in Croatia, Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic said in Munich on Sunday.

Istria border police discover 20 migrants in van

During routine border control, police in the northern Croatian Adriatic region of Istria on Saturday discovered 20 migrants in a van driven by a Croatian national, the Ministry of the Interior said.