At least 9000 Syrian refugees entered into the semi-autonomous Kurdish region of Iraq on Sunday, according to the Chinese Xinhua News Agency.
Yet, as thousands of Syrians flee their country to escape the violence; their situation seems to only get worse with Baghdad announcing on Friday that it will no longer be able to allow Syrians into Iraq, citing security reasons.
Ali El Dabagh, an Iraqi government spokesman said on Iraqi TV “We had hoped to help our Syrian refugee brothers,” according to AFP. It is estimated that the number of Syrian refugees in Iraq is between 5,000 and 8,000 according to various media reports.
Iraq is not the only country bordering Syria that no longer welcomes the entry of Syrian refugees. On Thursday, Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Baraksaid that Israel will not allow Syrians to enter the Golan Heights should the Syrians choose to seek asylum there and that they will be stopped if needed, according to the Associated Press (AP).
In response to Ehud Barak’s statements, the Dublin centre for Amnesty International wrote a letter to the minister, urging him to ensure that anyone who is at risk of crimes against humanity or war crimes “be allowed to benefit from effective and systematic protection procedures and safeguards to prevent their forcible return to Syria where they may face serious human rights abuses.”
Amnesty international also explained that the statements were particularly concerning as violence in Syria escalates.
There are 120,000 Syrian refugees located in Syria’s neighbouring countries, according to France 24. Most Syrian refugees are in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan, said Al Jazeera. There are almost 10,000 in Egypt. According to Reuters, the UN Refugee Agency expects the number of Syrians who will leave the country this year to be 185,000.