Over 30,000 Syrian refugees arrive in Iraq: UNHCR

Last Updated: Wed, Aug 21, 2013 01:20 hrs

Baghdad, Aug 21 (IANS) Around 30,000 Syrian refugees have crossed over into Iraq in the last few days, marking one of the biggest influx of refugees since Syrian conflict began over two years ago, the UN's refugee agency has said.

Since last Thursday "around 30,000 Syrians have streamed into northern Iraq ... across a wide swathe of northern Syria", reported Xinhua Tuesday citing UN High Commissioner for Refugees' (UNHCR) spokesperson Adrian Edwards.

On Tuesday, Liene Veide, UNHCR spokeswoman, said Syrian refugees continued to stream in as about 1,000 to 1,500 people were lining up around noon for crossing the border in Sahela area, not far from Peshkhabour crossing bridge over the Tigris river.

Meanwhile, during the press briefing, Edwards said the recent influx of refugees into Iraq was the largest movement of people fleeing violence in the Syrian conflict. Before the migration, some 155,000 Syrian refugees had already registered in Iraq, he added.

He said the refugees, mainly from the cities of Efrin, Aleppo, Hassake and Qamishly, complained about the collapse of the economy due to the unrest and ensuing difficulties in taking care of their families.

Iraq is already witnessing a humanitarian crisis of its own people. The UN mission in the country warned Monday some 1. 1 million internally displaced Iraqis were facing a tough future.

Waves of conflicts in the past decade have displaced families all over Iraq. The country ranks second in the number of internally displaced people in the Middle East after the violence-stricken Syria.

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