UN: Syrian Refugee 'River' Crosses into Iraq

Sunday, 18 Aug 2013 10:44 AM


  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

GENEVA — Thousands of Syrians are flowing across the border into Iraq's Kurdish region to escape battles between jihadists and Kurd forces in their homeland, the UN refugee agency said Sunday.

The UN's refugee agency reported a "river" of Syrians crossing into Iraqi Kurdistan, after more than 15,000 entered Iraq on Thursday and Saturday, figures which the UNHCR said were unprecedented.

"UN refugee agency staff at Sahela today report what appears like a river of people coming towards the border," said Claire Bourgeois, UNHCR's Iraq representative, referring to a border crossing in north Iraq.

"UNHCR is witnessing a major exodus from Syria over the past few days unlike anything we have witnessed entering Iraq previously."

The UN refugee agency said in a statement that the 15,000 who crossed into Iraq on Thursday and Saturday were in addition to about 154,000 Syrian refugees already registered in Iraq.

Syrian war refugees' access to Iraq has been erratic, with local political tensions and fears of a spillover of the conflict leading Kurdistan region authorities to shut the border in May.

Some restrictions were eased last month to allow Syrians stuck in their homeland to join family members already in Iraq, but numbers seeking to cross the border had remained relatively low.

Syria's Kurds have tried to avoid antagonizing forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad or rebels fighting to overthrow him, but there has been fierce fighting in recent weeks between Kurdish forces and the jihadist Al-Nusra Front, which is also fighting Assad.

All told, more than 1.9 million Syrians have fled their homeland's 29-month-old civil war, with most seeking a haven in neighboring Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey.

© AFP 2014

  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Retype Email:
Zip Code:
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
You May Also Like

Iranian Woman Forgives Son's Killer at the Gallows

Friday, 18 Apr 2014 11:59 AM

The execution of an Iranian convicted of murder was halted at the very last minute in a dramatic scene this week when th . . .

Investigators: Hezbollah Bomb Plot Targeted Israelis in Bangkok

Friday, 18 Apr 2014 10:57 AM

Police say they have arrested two suspected Hezbollah operatives in Thailand in connection with a terrorist plot there a . . .

Syria Negotiator Says Homs Once Again a 'Theater of Death'

Thursday, 17 Apr 2014 18:45 PM

International mediator Lakhdar Brahimi said on Thursday that a deal between trapped fighters and civilians in Homs city  . . .

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved