More Syrian Kurds crossing border into
By Anissa Haddadi - IB Times UK
Syrian refugees of Kurdish origin in Iraqi
Kurdistan's refugee camp. Photo: Reuters.
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More than 4,000 Syrian
nationals of Kurdish origin have crossed the border
into Kurdistan region of Iraq, as violence in Syria
shows no signs of abating.
June 1, 2012
Kurdistan region 'Iraq', — The UN High
Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has highlighted
the increasing number of Syrian Kurds - who
represent an estimated 10 percent of Syria's 23
million people - in semi-autonomous Kurdistan region
in Iraq's north.
The UNHCR works in collaboration with the department
of displaced and migration in Iraq to register the
increasing flow of refugees.
As of 31 March, the UNHCR had registered 760
arrivals, with 400 registrations pending. By 20 May,
the number of Syrian-Kurdish refugees in Iraq had
grown to 4,281, with 243 arrivals still waiting to
According to the UNHCR. there were an estimated 10
families and 50 singles in the process of being
registered as refugees in Duhok,www.ekurd.net
while in Erbil the organisation was approached on a
weekly basis by an average of two families and 20
singles seeking to register.
The Domiz camp has been set up in Duhok in an effort
to provide the refugees with basic resources, such
as food, water and medical care.
While the camp is undergoing work to cope with the
influx of refugees, some of them have complained
about inadequate hygiene in the communal latrines
The UNHCR is now trying to organise activities for
children and, in collaboration with other partners,
to provide them with access to education while they
are in the camp.
In other areas in the region, however, the refugees
are left to fend for themselves.
In Erbil, for example, they stay with relatives or
members of the local community, since no other form
of assistance is available. They receive no help
from the local authorities, UNHCR noted.
Some of the refugees who fled the violence in Syria
end up feeling vulnerable upon their arrival in
Iraq, as it continues to struggle with sectarian
violence and security.
Most of the Syrian refugees of Kurdish origin head
to Iraqi Kurdistan, an area that borders Iran to the
east, Turkey to the north, Syria to the west and
Iraq to the south.
The Kurdistan regional government officially
administrates the area, whose capital is Erbil.
While Syrian Kurds have been welcomed and the UNHCR
has received permission to set up camps, many of the
refugees are still waiting to register their status
and receive aid.
Until they are able to do so, they are left in a
precarious position. After having crossed the border
illegally, they cannot turn to the government for
To add to this mix, throughout the country there are
also internally displaced Iraqis who require
continued assistance and protection from the UNHCR.
As Baghdad is already struggling to cope with the
number of internally displaced people in Iraq, the
federal government has rejected having any
responsibility for the Syrian-Kurdish refugees
flooding across the border, who would put additional
pressure on resources.
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