July 5, 2018 / 9:59 AM / 5 months ago

U.N. refugee agency urges Jordan to allow in Syrians fleeing air strikes

GENEVA (Reuters) - The United Nations refugee agency implored Jordan on Thursday to open its borders and give temporary shelter to tens of thousands of Syrians fleeing air strikes and fighting in the southwest.

More than 320,000 civilians are now displaced in southwest Syria, living in dire and insecure conditions, including 60,000 at the border crossing with Jordan, U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said. Jordan already hosts some 640,000 registered Syrian refugees.

“The hostilities in the border area are life threatening and leave many no choice but to seek safety in neighbouring Jordan,” Grandi said in a statement. “Given the immediate dangers, I am advocating for granting temporary refuge in Jordan to those in need of safety.”

Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay, editing by Tom Miles

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