<p>Syrian children walk amid the dust during a sandstorm on Sept. 7, 2015 at a refugee camp on the outskirts of the eastern Lebanese city of Baalbek. </p>

Syrian children walk amid the dust during a sandstorm on Sept. 7, 2015 at a refugee camp on the outskirts of the eastern Lebanese city of Baalbek.

Credit: AFP/Getty Images

Deadly Sandstorm Brings Life And War To A Halt In The Middle East

The dust stopped Syrian regime airstrikes, but left thousands in war-torn Syria and nearby refugee camps at risk.

Thick yellow dust blew into Middle Eastern capitals from the east on Tuesday, putting life -- and war -- briefly on pause.

The massive sandstorm started in Iraq and also blanketed parts of Syria, Turkey, Egypt, Cyprus, Lebanon, Israel and the Palestinian territories on Tuesday.

Health authorities in several countries warned people not to leave their homes, and schools closed in Jordan and Lebanon. Many flights across the region were grounded due to poor visibility. The Syrian regime even called off airstrikes against rebels in central Syria on Monday due to the weather.

<p>NASA Worldview image of the sandstorm in the Middle East, Sept. 7, 2015.</p>

NASA Worldview image of the sandstorm in the Middle East, Sept. 7, 2015.

NASA

While some Syrians had a brief respite from the bombing, the storm presented dangers of its own. Thousands of Syrians were hospitalized with breathing problems and oxygen supplies were running low in some areas, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. In the Syrian capital Damascus, health officials said they had treated more than 1,200 people, including 100 children, with breathing difficulties.

Several casualties were reported in connection with the storm in Lebanon. The country's health ministry said two women were killed and some 750 hospitalized. Syrian refugees sheltering in informal camps in Lebanon were particularly hard hit by the storm, Agence France Press reported.

Dust storms often hit the Middle East during the summer, but officials said the current sandstorm was unusual in its intensity and wide spread across the region.

See below for images of the sandstorm from across the Middle East:

<p>A Palestinian man wears a mask to protect his face from the dust as he walks past the Dome of the Rock mosque in the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem, on Sept. 8, 2015.</p>

A Palestinian man wears a mask to protect his face from the dust as he walks past the Dome of the Rock mosque in the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem, on Sept. 8, 2015.

Credit: AHMAD GHARABLI/Getty Images
<p>A Lebanese man plays with a fish close to the Sidon Sea Castle during a sandstorm in the southern port city of Sidon, on Sept. 8, 2015. </p>

A Lebanese man plays with a fish close to the Sidon Sea Castle during a sandstorm in the southern port city of Sidon, on Sept. 8, 2015.

Credit: MAHMOUD ZAYYAT/AFP/Getty Images
<p>Syrian refugee children look on from a window during a sandstorm at a refugee camp near the Bekaa Valley village of Taalabaya, on Sept. 8, 2015.</p>

Syrian refugee children look on from a window during a sandstorm at a refugee camp near the Bekaa Valley village of Taalabaya, on Sept. 8, 2015.

Credit: Getty Images
<p>A plane is seen during a sand storm that hit Lebanon's Beirut on Sept. 8, 2015. </p>

A plane is seen during a sand storm that hit Lebanon's Beirut on Sept. 8, 2015.

Credit: Bilal Jawich/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
<p>A Lebanese man on his scooter wears a face mask as he drives past a graffiti painted wall during a sandstorm in Beirut on Sept. 8, 2015</p>

A Lebanese man on his scooter wears a face mask as he drives past a graffiti painted wall during a sandstorm in Beirut on Sept. 8, 2015

Credit: JOSEPH EID/Getty Images
<p>Syrian citizens cross a street as a sandstorm shrouds Damascus, Syria, Sept. 8, 2015.</p>

Syrian citizens cross a street as a sandstorm shrouds Damascus, Syria, Sept. 8, 2015.

Credit: SANA via ASSOCIATED PRESS
<p>Syrian refugees peel garlic outside their tents during a sandstorm, in a refugee camp in the town of Bar Elias, in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley, Sept. 8, 2015.</p>

Syrian refugees peel garlic outside their tents during a sandstorm, in a refugee camp in the town of Bar Elias, in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley, Sept. 8, 2015.

Credit: Bilal Hussein/ASSOCIATED PRESS
<p>Dust hangs over wheat fields in Anthoupolis, a suburb of Cyprus’ capital Nicosia on Sept. 7, 2015.</p>

Dust hangs over wheat fields in Anthoupolis, a suburb of Cyprus’ capital Nicosia on Sept. 7, 2015.

ASSOCIATED PRESS
<p>A Palestinian man walks with a camel at Mont of Olives in Jerusalem during a sandstorm, on Sept. 8, 2015.</p>

A Palestinian man walks with a camel at Mont of Olives in Jerusalem during a sandstorm, on Sept. 8, 2015.

Credit: THOMAS COEX/Getty Images
<p> A man walks on the beach in Limassol as a sandstorm hits the east Mediterranean island of Cyprus on Sept. 8, 2015.</p>

A man walks on the beach in Limassol as a sandstorm hits the east Mediterranean island of Cyprus on Sept. 8, 2015.

Credit: IAKOVOS HATZISTAVROU/Getty Images
<p>People swim at the public beach of Ramlet al Bayda during a sand storm in Beirut, Lebanon, Sept. 8, 2015. </p>

People swim at the public beach of Ramlet al Bayda during a sand storm in Beirut, Lebanon, Sept. 8, 2015.

Credit: Hassan Ammar/ASSOCIATED PRESS

This post has been updated to include Israel in the list of countries affected by the storm.