The suffering of tens of thousands of Syrian displaced persons stranded near the Jordanian border was further worsened after the ISIS extremist group threatened it would attack the area. Observes said that ISIS is seeking to destabilize the region along the Syrian-Jordanian border.
ISIS on Wednesday issued a warning for residents of Rukban IDPs camp to evacuate the camp, threatening it would target the area with car bombs. The camp was built in a desert area in a no mans’ land on the Syrian-Jordanian border. It is home to about 85,000 people, mostly fled from rural Deir Ezzor, rural Raqqa, and the town of Tadmur.
A commander in the Free Syrian Army said that ISIS, whose militants are stationed in villages northwest of the camp, are planning to target the border crossing near the camp. The crossing, used mainly for humanitarian operations, is manned by Jordanian border guards and the Ahrar Alashaier rebel group.
The FSA commander said that the Jordanian authorities have allowed 14 IDPs in for medical treatment from injuries they sustained in a car bomb explosion that rocked the camp on January 21st. He added that the Jordanian authorities are showing some flexibility in dealing with humanitarian cases despite Jordan’s decision to designate the border areas with Syria as “closed military zones” and seal the Rukban border crossing after a suicide car bombing that killed at least six members of the Jordanian security forces in June 2016.
Media activist Abdullah Abu Tayeb said that ISIS’s latest threat further increased the suffering of the residents of the camp who are already suffering severe shortages of food and medical supplies and lack the means of heating to cope with extreme weather conditions.
Abu Tayeb said that deliveries of humanitarian aid barely cover the needs of the residents of the camp despite repeated appeals on the United Nations and humanitarian organizations to press for the reopening of the border crossing.
A car bomb attack by ISIS left over 11 people killed and 15 more injured on January 21, further aggravating the dire situation of the residents of the camp stranded in the area for over one and a half year. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Office + Al Jazeera)