Tuesday, 07 August 2012 18:06
BAGHDAD: More than 22,000 Iraqis have fled the violence in Syria for their home country in less than three weeks, joining over 12,000 Syrian refugees, a UN refugee agency official said on Tuesday.
"Since the 18th of July until yesterday (Monday), 22,300 Iraqi refugees have been registered" after having arrived from Syria, UNHCR Iraq representative Claire Bourgeois told a news conference in Baghdad.
She also said that as of August 6, 12,600 Syrians had fled to Iraq since the beginning of the year.
President Bashar al-Assad's deadly crackdown on an uprising against his rule has sparked an exodus of Syrians to neighbouring countries.
"The problem of the Syrian refugees, of the (Iraqi) returnees, adds to the problem of the government of Iraq and the people of Iraq," UN envoy to Iraq Martin Kobler told the news conference.
"As you know, we have ... 1.3 million IDPs already in the country," Kobler said, referring to internally ...