UN reports sudden wave of Syrians fleeing to Iraq
GENEVA (AP) — The U.N. refugee agency says an unusually large wave of Syrian families has been pouring into Iraq’s Kurdistan region this week.
Adrian Edwards, a spokesman for the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, says thousands of Syrians — mainly from Syria’s largest city, Aleppo, and several poor northeastern Syrian regions — were part of a “sudden, massive movement” into northern Iraq.
He told reporters in Geneva on Friday that up to 7,750 Syrian refugees a day had crossed a Tigris River bridge over the border, but said the reasons for the surge were unclear.
Edwards says UNHCR staff saw “scores of buses” dropping people off on the Syria side. Iraq is already home to more than 150,000 refugees from Syria, where Kurds are the largest ethnic minority.