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Updates in plain English from the conflict that won't stop

Day 1,145: It took barely four days for 1,000 refugees to show up at that new camp

A shocking measure of Syria's growing humanitarian crisis.
Zaatari meetingEnlarge
Foreign senior diplomats and officials attend a meeting on May 4, 2014 at northern Jordan's Zaatari refugee camp. (Khalil Mazraawi/AFP/Getty Images)

Today is Day 1,145 of the Syria conflict.

Clashes in Aleppo beginning in the pre-dawn hours killed 21 rebels and killed or wounded some 30 soldiers Monday morning. The Syrian state news agency SANA also reported that rebel rockets killed nine in a residential neighborhood overnight.

Some news from the weekend

Jordan opened its new Azraq refugee camp last Wednesday. On Saturday, the UN Refugee Agency announced that more than 1,000 refugees had already arrived in the camp — not even a full four days had elapsed.

That was a pretty good setup for the meeting that occurred in Jordan's Zaatari camp on Sunday between ministers from the four main host countries for Syrian refugees: Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon, and Iraq. (That's a photo, above. The tablecloth and velvet rope are admittedly a little incongruous — as you can see, they're in a tent.)

The huge numbers of refugees is straining the capacities of Syria's neighbors. Iraq has started digging trenches on the border. Jordan has closed most of the unofficial border crossings. The four host countries said there needs to be more aid inside Syria to reduce the flow of refugees into nearby countries.

"There has been very little support, and there must be massive support from the international community, financial support," said UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres. Another key quote from Sunday: "This is the worst catastrophic humanitarian situation we are facing, probably since the Rwanda genocide."

Also on Sunday, Syria's Supreme Constitutional Court announced that President Bashar al-Assad and two others will be the only individuals on the ballot for the June 3 election, in which only areas under government control will be voting. Syria's eligibility requirements are fairly exacting, and, as Al Jazeera's writeup points out, "Anyone who has lived outside Syria in the past decade is excluded, effectively barring most prominent opposition figures, who live in exile." Three cheers for the democratic spirit.

The conflict continues.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/meanwhile-syria/day-1145-it-took-barely-four-days-1000-refugees-show-at-