News & Resources

Between Iraq and No Place: Iraqi refugees fleeing Syria

According to today’s Washington Post, “A heavily U.S.-funded refu­gee relief program has begun quietly preparing for a humanitarian crisis on the Iraqi-Syrian border.” Consistent with reports IRAP has been receiving from clients in Syria, the article suggests that thousands of Iraqis are debating whether to remain in Syria should the situation further escalate, attempt to flee to a third country (a different porposition with all of the borders currently closed), or return to face the evil they know which forced them to flee Iraq in teh first place.

Many of IRAP’s clients report people who are afraid to renew their visas, as the Syria immigration office  often finds a technical flaw with the papers and orders them to depart the country within 48 hours.

This seems consistent with the claims of a man in the Post article, that “The Syrian revolutionaries, they don’t want us to stay anymore . . . .They accuse us of being part of Bashar al-Assad’s regime. And the Syrian forces, they have started to arrest some of the Iraqis and accuse them of being part of the demonstrations. We had to leave.”