Angelina Jolie has visited hundreds of Syrian refugees at a camp in Jordan as the conflict between Syrian government forces and opposition activists in the Middle East country rages on.
Jolie, acting in her role as a U.N. ambassador, visited the displaced civilians at the Zaatari Refugee Camp in Mafraq on Tuesday. The actress’ appearance was an attempt to draw attention to the plight of ordinary Syrians who have been forced to flee their country after 18 months of horrendous bloodshed.
Of the hundreds of thousands who have escaped the country, 81,000 Syrians have ended up in neighboring Jordan, while Turkey, Iraq, and Lebanon have received many more. The refugee crisis is now reaching critical proportions, and Jolie was quick to acknowledge the important role played by other countries in keeping refugees from harm:
“I am grateful to Jordan and the border countries for saving the lives (of those) who are dying in Syria. It’s an extraordinary thing. We encourage the international community to support the people here until one day they go back home.”
The actress also repeated horrific accounts she had heard from child witnesses who had spoken of body parts being pulled apart “like chicken.”
However, the sheer number of refugees is now proving overwhelming for some countries, with Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh telling CNN:
“Jordan has already reached its limit in absorbing the refugee influx, and what is needed now is to build more refugee camps for the Syrian refugees. We have limited means, but this is the land of the good people and we will share with them whatever we have, no matter how little is.”
At least 18 people were killed across the country on Tuesday including 14 by aerial shelling, according to the opposition Local Coordination Committees of Syria.