Former Syrian PM, now in Jordan, says Assad controls only about 30% of country
GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – The UN refugee organization, UNHCR, said in Geneva tueday 14 August that it has opened a new registration centre in Tripoli, northern Lebanon, for Syrians fleeing across the border. The new centre can process 700 people a day. Northern Lebanon currently has some 20,000 registered refugees, but thousands more are “waiting to be registered even as new people arrive”, the organization said at a press briefing.
“The centre’s opening follows an information campaign in Lebanon to encourage people to register. Many displaced Syrians have been reluctant to register. While refugees are receiving some humanitarian assistance pending registration, registration is critical to receive medical care and to enroll children in Lebanese public schools, which resume next month after the summer break.”
Nearly 160,000 Syrian refugees are now officially registered in Iraq, Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon, but the UNHCR says the registered figures “do not reflect the entire refugee populations in some countries as refugees are waiting or reluctant to register.”
President al-Assad’s regime’s hold on Syria is weakening, according to his former prime minister, Riyad Farid Hijab, who a week ago defected and fled to Jordan. He gave a press conference Tuesday where he said, according to the New York Times, “Its military is rusting, and it only controls 30 percent of Syria’s territory.”