Crikey visits the Jordanian camps where Syrians have fled for their lives. Plus, why President Bashar al-Assad is winning. Tony Abbott’s tightrope walk in Indonesia. Michael Smith defends his mate George Brandis. Should we sell Australia Post? And the fact-checking is in trouble at PolitiFact.
Aida, a 50-year-old grandmother from war-torn Dara’a in Syria, won’t ever forget the day a missile hit her house. Her daughter-in-law, sheltering her unborn baby the best she could, collapsed when her heart stopped beating. She was revived and immediately went into labour.
The baby was delivered safely. The mother died soon after.
Aida is camped with her family and thousands of other refugees at Zaatari, a pop-up tent city 15 kilometres from the Syrian border. They’re close enough to still hear the fighting. It’s quickly become the second-largest refugee camp in the world.
The people there, Kim Wilkinson reports for Crikey, are confident the Free Syrian Army can win control of their homeland and form a government. God willing, they say. And yet, as academic Dara Conduit notes today, President Bashar al-Assad is far from falling. While inspectors look over chemical weapons stockpiles, the fighting rages. The civil conflict is as intractable as ever.
Refugees are cynical about the intervention of the West; “just words and paper” says one. And rightly so.