The Guardian reports: Across the camp, five miles inside Jordan, Syrian refugees gathered in small groups to listen to Barack Obama. Some watched on al-Jazeera TV, others tuned in to the radio, many followed on Twitter or online news sites. Expectations were high.
“We thought, when he began to speak, the strikes on Bashar al-Assad’s regime were going to start immediately,” said one refugee, Abu Assam. “Then he said ‘but’.” In Arabic “but” is “wa lakin“, but in both languages the implication is the same. “It was when he said that word that everything came crashing down.” He added: “Obama lied to us.”
A member of the Free Syrian Army, who walks on crutches after an accident inside Zataari, Abu Assam said he immediately decided to cross the border back to Syria to rejoin the fighters on the other side, despite his injury. “I can fire a weapon on a pick-up truck,” he said.
The Zaatari refugee camp is home to about 120,000 Syrians who have fled the war next door, the sound of which, on still nights, can be heard from across the border. The mood on Sunday was uniformly bleak. The news of the chemical attack in Damascus was devastating for those in the camp, said a UN official. Residents asked for no visits from journalists or dignitaries for three days. After that period of grief, amid all the tough talk by western leaders, refugees believed that something would be done to punish the Syrian regime. [Continue reading…]