Last Updated: Tue Jul 17, 2012 13:17 pm (KSA) 10:17 am (GMT)

Syrians in Jordan urge UK to ‘get rid of’ Assad

Foreign Secretary William Hague (L) and Jordanian Foreign Minister  Nasser Judeh during the press conference.  (Reuters)
Foreign Secretary William Hague (L) and Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh during the press conference. (Reuters)

Syrian refugees in Jordan urged British Foreign Secretary William Hague on Tuesday to “get rid of” Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, as the official visited this Jordanian border town.

“We do not want food or water, we do not want money. We just want you to get rid of Bashar,” some of them chanted as Hague and Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh toured Ramtha’s Bashabsheh housing complex, a military-guarded compound that houses around 1,000 Syrian refugees.

Hague described the deadly violence in neighboring Syria as “horrible.”

British Foreign Minister William Hague (L) and Jordan’s Foreign Minister Nasser Joudeh (R) visit Syrian refugees, who fled the violence in Syria, at Bashabsha camp near the Jordanian city of Ramtha. (AFP)

“It is horrible to hear the accounts of what is happening (in Syria) from people here, many of them coming from close by over the borders,” said Hague, the most senior British official to visit the refugees in Jordan.

“Tanks, bombardment from the air, every kind of heavy weaponry (are being used) against the civilian population.”

The news reports that are coming out of Syria, “assure the barbarity and criminality of the Assad regime,” he said, adding that the numbers of refugees are "increasing rapidly because of the violence.”

“It underlines the need to act at United Nations Security Council,” he added.

Britain, France, United States, Germany and Portugal want a resolution adopted at the Security Council that includes the threat of sanctions if the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad does not halt the use of heavy weapons in compliance with a six-point U.N.-backed peace plan.

Hague stressed that the international community will respond to the tragedy unfolding in Syria.

“"The horrors of the crimes committed by Assad are clearly on display when you talk to people just over the borders from Syria,” he told reporters.

And he said his country was training human rights activists to document abuses in Syria.

“We have trained 47 activists. We will train 20 more to document human rights abuses that are being committed and we are also giving help to people through (U.N. refuges agency) UNHCR to help pay for accommodation, water, food, sanitation,” he said. He did not elaborate.

Jordan is hosting more than 140,000 Syrians, many of whom are living with relatives in Ramtha, and is building several refugee camps for them. More than 27,344 of the refugees are registered with the United Nations.

Hague and Judeh spoke to dozens of children who were waiting their turn to use swings and slides at a small sandy playground, and they chatted with some of their relatives.

One of them, a man who had bandages on his arm and his stomach, told AFP he fled to Jordan 10 days go from the flashpoint central Syrian city of Homs, where he was wounded in an attack on his family home.

“During the attack, my family house was bombed, killing my father and my mother, while I was hit in my arm, stomach and back,” said the man who declined to be named.

Others as well wore bandages apparently concealing wounds sustained in Syria's violence.

The top diplomats also visited U.N. offices near the Bashabsheh complex -- which consists in six apartment buildings, tents and huge storage containers -- to examine procedures to register the refugees.

Hague and Judeh are due to hold a joint news conference in Amman later on Tuesday.

Rights monitors estimate that more than 17,000 people have been killed since the anti-regime uprising in Syria broke out in March 20011.

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