More than 20,000 Syrian refugees cross into Iraq: U.N.

GENEVA Mon Aug 19, 2013 5:29am EDT

1 of 2. Syrian refugees who fled the violence in Syria, are seen at a new refugee camp in Arbil, about 350 km (220 miles) north of Baghdad August 16, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Stringer

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GENEVA (Reuters) - More than 20,000 Syrian refugees have entered northern Iraq since Thursday in one of the largest crossings in the more than two-year-old conflict and the influx is continuing, the United Nations said on Monday.

Syrians began pouring into the Kurdistan region of northern Iraq last Thursday, taking advantage of a new bridge along the largely closed border, the U.N. says.

"It looks like the total from last Thursday to now is somewhere in the region of 20,000 or more coming across," Adrian Edwards of the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR said. "If not the biggest influx across the border at a single time then it is among the largest in the whole Syria crisis."

Hundreds of Syrians fleeing fighting in Aleppo and other parts of northern Syria were massed along the Tigris River on Monday near the pontoon crossing, UNHCR staff said.

(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Janet Lawrence)

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Comments (2)
kenradke11 wrote:
Oh God when will your Justice prevail over madman ASSAD!!!This war must come to a halt very soon or Israel will get into the frey and all hell will break loose then !!

Aug 19, 2013 6:21am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Neurochuck wrote:
The local multi-ethnic TV news http://www.sbs.com.au reported it as Syrian Kurds fleeing attacks on their area by al Nusra/al Qaeda islamists, with interviews with village officials about atrocities including beheading children.
Hopefully Turkey can continue to build rapprochment with it’s Kurdish citizens by granting more cultural, political and economic autonomy.
If modern Turkey can overcome racism of ethnic Turks, it could gain a stronger position and economy with a Kurdistan protectorate in Iraq and Syria.
The current borders are more British/French division legacy, specifically conflict between the British and Ataturk re Mosul etc.

Aug 19, 2013 7:30am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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