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Kerry meets Syrian refugees, who demand action

ZAATARI CAMP, Jordan -- Secretary of State John Kerry got a firsthand view Thursday of the grinding war in Syria, visiting a sprawling refugee camp that houses 115,000 Syrians who have fled the fighting and hearing bitter complaints that the world has forgotten them.

Kerry met with six Syrian refugees who angrily asked why world powers have not set up a no-fly zone or protective humanitarian zone inside Syria, something the Obama administration has considered but decided against for now.

"They are frustrated and angry at the world," Kerry said afterward. If he were in their shoes, he would also be asking for help anywhere he could get it, he added.

The Zaatari camp, about eight miles inside Jordan, is a tent city sprung from the desert that has become Jordan's fifth-largest city. It is largely a city of women and children, most of them from just across the border. About 60,000 of the camp's residents are children.

One of the Syrian women asked Kerry, "What are you waiting for? We hope that you will not go back to the States before you find a solution to the crisis. At least impose a no-fly zone or an embargo." The State Department asked reporters not to use the refugees' names.

Nearly 100,000 people have died in the uprising turned civil war. The forces of President Bashar Assad, with help from Iran and militants from Lebanon's Shia Hezbollah group, now have the upper hand.

Kerry flew over the vast camp in a helicopter before driving in a heavily protected convoy into a secure area. The refugees he met, picked by the camp staff, were polite but firm in insisting that no one, including the United States, is doing enough.

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