Jordan- A team of French military and civilian medical personnel headed to Jordan Thursday to provide assistance to wounded Syrian refugees fleeing to that country from the Syrian conflict, diplomatic sources confirmed here.
A team of French military doctors is heading to the Syria-Jordan border to set up a mobile hospital to treat refugees fleeing Syrian violence by the thousands. They will take about 20 tons of medical equipment to Amman, Jordan and then to a site a few dozen kilometers from the border.
Col. Gerard Dosseh, an anesthesiologist heading up the mission, said Thursday that the medics aim to be operative by the end of the week and to perform up to 10 surgeries a day on those wounded in fighting.
An Airbus plane carrying around 50 people, half of them medical staff, left the French capital and is expected in Amman after picking up medical supplies at an airbase in southern France, the source confirmed.
France, Syria's onetime colonial ruler, has been in the forefront of diplomatic efforts to end fighting in Syria, which has sent some 250,000 refugees fleeing to neighboring countries.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius is to visit Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon August 15-17 and he says he will visit refugee camps to evaluate the situation in those countries.
France said that the medical-surgical unit will be deployed in northern Jordan towards the end of the week. President Francois Hollande earlier this week gave approval, after telephone consultations with King Abdallah II, to set up a field hospital unit near the Syrian border to treat wounds sustained in the conflict.
Unofficial estimates say that hundreds of thousands of Syrians have fled the conflict over the past 17 months and more than 120,000 have been registered with the UN refugee agencies. Many more are believed to have fled but not yet registered with the UN and are located in Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon, principally.
Human rights and opposition estimates put the number of killed in the Syrian conflict at 21,000 since March 2011. Paris says it will provide Jordan with the needed support to cater to the flow of refugees and has praised the Hashemite Kingdom for its ongoing solidarity to the Syrian people.