A Syrian refugee man walks out of a makeshift bathroom at an informal tented settlement near the Syrian border on the outskirts of Mafraq, Jordan, Friday, Jan. 22, 2016. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen)
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Syrian refugees who have trekked across the desert fleeing expanding Russian airstrikes are receiving a less-than-warm welcome in Jordan, which is keeping them penned up miles from anywhere on the grounds some of them may be militants. Some 17,000 Syrians are now stranded in a de facto no-man's land at the only crossing where Jordan still receives refugees, in sparsely populated desert where the borders of Syria, Jordan and Iraq meet some 330 km northeast of Amman.Part of the U.S.-led coalition that is bombing Syria, Jordan has long been praised for helping refugees and been a big beneficiary of foreign aid as a result.The UNHCR in December said Jordan should accept the refugees and move them on to established camps closer to the capital, Amman.But Jordan, which has already accepted more than 600,000 U.N. registered Syrian refugees, is resisting and says it believes that Daesh militants may have infiltrated their ranks.Earlier waves of Syrian refugees had a much easier time, some walking just a few hundred meters to cross into Jordan from the main population centers.
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