Syrian refugees: Now exceeds 200,000 people
Majority of refugees flee to Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon
As the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad continues to
batter rebel forces throughout the nation, the number of Syrians who
have fled their homeland for the neighboring countries of Lebanon,
Turkey and Jordan have now exceeded 200,000. The United Nations refugee
agency said last week that the flow of refugees has now jumped past
Turkish authorities say more than 3,500 Syrians had arrived in the past 24 hours. These new refugees bring the total number of Syrians being sheltered in Turkey to more than 78,000.
The nation of Jordan reports that a record 2,324 Syrian refugees had crossed into that country on Thursday night alone. Turkish authorities say more than 3,500 Syrians had arrived in the past 24 hours. These new refugees bring the total number of Syrians being sheltered in Turkey to more than 78,000.
Lebanon has been rattled by new fighting in the tense northern part of Syria. Many in Lebanon are painting the conflict there in terms of pro and anti-Assad factions.
Warplanes and artillery units have continued to hit the northern Syrian city of Aleppo as well as other areas across the country, anti-government rights group has said.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a U.K.-based group, said that more than a dozen people had been killed in an air and artillery strike in Deir ez-Zor province's Mayadin that targeted a residential building.
Al-Ikhbariya, a government satellite channel, said security forces were "engaged in combat with an armed terrorist group in the Mayadin region, killing dozens of terrorists."
The agency also reported heavy shelling on several districts of Aleppo, the scene of some of the fiercest fighting in recent weeks.
The opposition, Syrian National Council has warned of a "humanitarian catastrophe" in the city of Homs, saying the area had been under siege for 80 days and was in desperate need of food and medical supplies.
Rebels said they were digging in for a war of attrition in Aleppo, where the government had warned last month of "the mother of all battles."
"We don't have enough weapons, they [the Syrian army] don't have enough men," one rebel fighter declared.
Both the government and opposition forces say attacks on Aleppo province are aimed at cutting arms supply routes to the rebels in Syria's battered second city.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Syrian refugees, Turkey, Lebanon, Aleppo, Jordan
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