Saleh, Syrian Refugee In Turkey, Tells Heartbreaking Story Of Brother's Death (VIDEO)

01/24/2013 10:24 am ET

"Great man. Tall. Very Tall. Blue eyes...Dead."

Tears well in young Saleh's eyes as he tells CNN about the death of his eldest brother, a fighter with the Free Syrian Army.

Saleh and his family live in a refugee camp across the Syrian border in Turkey, having fled their hometown of Aleppo after two of the family's sons joined the Syrian rebels.

"Two months ago the phone rang and it was that my biggest brother was dead," Saleh says, wearing a scarf with the colors of the Syrian rebel flag. His other brother continues to fight in Aleppo. "Every day i have these scared moments when the phone rings," Saleh says.

According to UNHCR, more than 550,000 Syrians have crossed the borders and registered as refugees in neighboring countries. Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan each shelter more than 150,000 Syrians. At least 76,000 have fled to Iraq and more than 14,000 are living in Egypt. In reality, the numbers are likely higher, as unregistered refugees are not taken into account.

Jordan's foreign minister said on Wednesday that more than 20,000 Syrians crossed into the country in the past seven days, fleeing heavy fighting in Syria's south. "What we have seen in terms of influx of Syrian refugees coming to Jordan is ... unprecedented, larger than any other time in the last two years," Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh told Reuters.

According to the Jordanian ministry, more than 300,000 Syrians have crossed into Jordan since the start of the conflict in March 2011, twice the number projected by UNHCR.

A BBC correspondent in the main Jordanian camp, Zaatari, reported that new refugees were issued with four blankets each and one tent per family. Yet many complained of a lack of support. "What good are your cameras? We are getting no support from anyone," a man told the network.

The United Nations estimated in January that more than 60,000 people have died in Syria during the nearly two-year conflict.

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