facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Syrian refugees dig in for long haul

Aug. 18, 2011 at 5:53 PM   |   Comments

| License Photo
WADI KHALED, Lebanon, Aug. 18 (UPI) -- Syrian refugees fleeing the violence of the 5-month-old uprising against the regime of President Bashar Assad say they have lost hope of returning home soon.

Human rights organizations estimate 1,700 people have died in the fighting and nearly 3,000 are missing. About 5,000 more have fled to a border area with Lebanon where they are finding it difficult to find food and medical assistance, Voice of America reported Thursday.

Abdullah Tassi, who works with the Bekaa Youth for Development and Free Education, said the refugees thought they only would be in the area for a short time.

"But after days go on and on, now they believe they are going to stay here for a long time," Tassi said. "Some of them are trying to mingle with the [local] people and many of them are going to villages far from here."

A man identifying himself as Hassan al-Hassad said he went AWOL from the Syrian army a month ago and thousands of other soldiers have done the same thing, hoping to organize a new army to fight the regime.

U.S. President Barack Obama Thursday called on the 45-year-old Assad -- who came into power in 2000 following the death of his father, who led Syria for 29 years -- to step down and allow the Syrian people to achieve the reforms they are seeking.

"People woke up and realized that they have an alternative to living under a dictatorship of one man and his family and his cronies and having no say in their own future," Nadim Shehadi, an expert on Syria with London's Chatham House, told VOA. "And once people realize this it's irreversible."

© 2011 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Most Popular
1
Russia prepares militarization of Arctic Russia prepares militarization of Arctic
2
Freedom variant LCS takes to water Freedom variant LCS takes to water
3
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder officially bans sales of Tesla Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder officially bans sales of Tesla
4
Missing college student Connor Trapatsos spotted on surveillance video Missing college student Connor Trapatsos spotted on surveillance video
5
Toyota, Honda, Mazda, BMW, Nissan and GM all affected by defective airbag recall Toyota, Honda, Mazda, BMW, Nissan and GM all affected by defective airbag recall
Trending News
Around the Web
x
Feedback