Friday, December 13, 2013

Winter storm pummels Mideast, adding to refugee misery

Terra Daily via AFP: A bruising winter storm brought severe weather to the Middle East Thursday, forcing the closure of roads and schools and blanketing already miserable Syrian refugee camps with snow.

The nearly three-year-old conflict in Syria has killed an estimated 126,000 people and displaced millions, including more than two million who have fled across the borders and thousands who are living in makeshift camps.

Footage posted online by activists showed war-battered areas of Syria shrouded in snow, and at least two children have died from the cold, according to a spokesman for the opposition National Coalition.

Bad weather also delayed the first-ever international UN airlift, set to leave the Kurdish region of northern Iraq for Qamishli in northeastern Syria. "When it will start is difficult to say -- I think the authorities in Qamishli are going to check conditions at the airfield on Friday," UN refugee agency (UNHCR) regional spokesman Peter Kessler told AFP....

A snowy January 11 in Jerusalem (2013), shot by Yair Haklai, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license 

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