UN: Nearly 50,000 Syrian refugees trapped at Jordan border
Around 50,000 - mostly women and children - refugees are stranded on Syria's southern border with Jordan, the United Nations said on Monday, an area which is increasingly unsafe due to airstrikes.
UN deputy spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters that "some people are reportedly attempting to leave the area, risking further danger and deprivation in an inhospitable desert location".
Food and healthcare in the area known as the berm is scarce, Haq said, with around 4,000 people in one section surviving on just flour and water.
Jordan closed its border with Syria in June 2016 after a car bomb attack by the Islamic State group killed seven Jordanian border guards.
The border's closure has posed a huge obstacle for humanitarian groups trying to get aid to the off-limits area.
On Thursday, Syrian regime forces captured a key area along the Jordan border in their latest advance on rebel positions.
The military advance was portrayed by Syrian state media as necessary to close major smuggling points where rebels allegedly bring weapons into Syria.
The UN has called on all sides "take the necessary steps to prevent further harm to the frightened and highly vulnerable individuals stranded at the border", Haq said.
The UN is ready to continue supporting Amman, he said, and "immediately provide protection and additional life-saving assistance as needed".