Refugee crisis becomes a flood
Steve Pennells with refugees crossing the border from Syria to Jordan.

She couldn't have been more than two years old - pink sandals covered in dust and clutching an empty chocolate wrapper as if it was the most important thing in the world.

Somewhere on the 7km walk through no man's land, she has soiled herself.

She doesn't talk. She doesn't smile. She doesn't cry.

Her mother hands her to me without a word and I carry her daughter for the final few steps from Syria into Jordan.

A Syrian army air strike 7km away has created a heightened sense of desperation for those who made it here.

Watch Steve Pennells' report from Jordan on Channel 7's Sunday Night program at 7.40pm

About 600 refugees surround us. One man - a shepherd - had his legs shattered in the attack and blood rushes from his head. An old man with a Zimmer frame is trailing behind the others.

The last time The West Australian visited Jordan's remote military-controlled eastern border with Syria - the first media organisation in the world to be granted access - hundreds of refugees were streaming across each day.

Ten months later, the situation is even more grim.

On bad days, 4000 Syrians are fleeing into Jordan, taking advantage of Syrian border posts left weak.

One in five of them is under four years old and almost one in 10 has been wounded.

They are flooding into Jordanian neighbourhoods but it is Zaatari refugee camp - barely two years old and already Jordan's fourth largest population centre - that has had to adapt the fastest.

A new camp opened last month to hold 130,000 but at the current rate of refugees crossing the border, it will only absorb six months of the influx.

The West Australian

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