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Jordanians urge government to take in Syrians fleeing Daraa

'Open the borders' has become a top trending hashtag on social media
An image circulated on social media as part of the campaign (Screengrab)

Jordanians are calling on their government to take in thousands of Syrian refugees fleeing the bombardment of the southwestern city of Daraa by the forces of President Bashar al-Assad. 

The hashtag "open the borders" has been the top trending subject on social media in Jordan for nearly a day, with the government being urged to reverse its decision to deny refugees entry to the country. 

Other messages posted on social media included "we'll share our bread with them".  

The campaign comes as thousands of Syrians remain stranded on the Jordanian border, unable to enter the country after the government decided to close its borders. 

The refugees have been displaced in the recent round of fighting as Assad escalates his campaign to take control of the rebel-held province of Daraa. 

The Jordanian government earlier this week said it would be "unable" to take them in. 

Jumana Ghunaimat, minister of state for media affairs, told AFP on Sunday that Jordan's infrastructure could not bear a "new wave" of asylum seekers.

"Jordan has not and will not abandon its humanitarian role and its commitment to international charters, but it has exceeded its ability to absorb [more refugees]," said Ghunaimat, who also serves as a spokesperson for the government.

Some 650,000 Syrian refugees have registered with the United Nations in Jordan since fleeing their country's seven-year civil war but the government believes the actual number is closer to 1.3 million people and says it has spent more than $10bn hosting them.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said that more than 120,000 people had been displaced by the recent fighting.

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