09/03/2013, 00.00
JORDAN – SYRIA
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Amman: taxi drivers, "mangled" witnesses of the Syrian tragedy

The escape of the citizens of Damascus from their country forcing drivers to work especially between the border and refugee camps. What Zaatri (second largest in the world) is now home to 150 thousand displaced people, twice as much as a year ago. A taxi driver: "Most children are desperate and without taking anything with them. It breaks my heart, I can not think of my children. "

Amman (AsiaNews/Agencies) - Since the emergency in Syria has forced thousands of refugees to leave their country, the taxi drivers in Amman despite themselves have become spectators of a humanitarian tragedy without equal. "Those who come are desperate and poor - says Omar , the owner of a taxi - today I took a man, his sister and her three children to Zaatri. He was pushing a baby's pram with all of their belongings. She said she hadn't heard from her husband in weeks and doesn't know if he is alive or dead."

Every morning, dozens of taxis parked along the Jordanian side expect the first refugees. The Zaatri refugee camp is about 20 kilometres away and is home to nearly 150,000 Syrians - and that number grows by the day: many displaced people are headed there. "At first there were only sporadic arrivals - tells a taxi driver - but since the fighting moved in the southern regions, the flow is increased."

Omar, a father of 7 children, makes the journey between the border and the field dozens of times a day and says that the majority of Syrians arrived in Jordan are children: "It breaks my heart seeing so much suffering, because I can not think of my children."

While the cops sitting at the border check point can not do anything but wait and watch the hundreds of people who daily cross the border, the local taxi drivers during breaks say they are confident that if the Americans were entering the war would increase the flow of migration . The camp is home to today Zaatri 150 thousand displaced people - more than double from a year ago - and is second in size only to that of Dadaab in Kenya.

The communiqué High Commission for Refugees at the United Nations today issued reports that are at least 2 million Syrian refugees fled the country : of these, over 500 thousand came into Jordan. According to official estimates, nearly half would be made ​​up of children , of whom three-quarters under 11 years.

"The journey to leave the country is increasingly risky and dangerous - says Hamid, a young native of southern Syria just arrived in Zaatri - in order to bring here with my brothers I had to pay $ 250 a head".

 

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