Syrians stream into Iraq to buy supplies following reopening of border

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Syrian refugees who arrived into Iraq’s Kurdistan region in August 2013 UNHCR/G.Gubaeva

More than 2,500 Syrians arrived in Iraq's Kurdistan region on Sunday afternoon following the opening of the border, although most appear intent on returning to their homeland.

The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) says aid workers and local authorities worked overnight to process the people who had arrived by barge.

UNHCR spokesperson Melissa Fleming says the border had been closed since September but now the Iraqi authorities appear to have changed their policy on entry into the country.

"This is due to a new policy in the Kurdistan region of Iraq where authorities have now adopted a flexible approach. They're allowing Syrians a seven-day time period to come across and spend time in the country; shop. It seems that a lot of them are buying things—buying supplies, much needed supplies—and going back."  (23″)

UNHCR says approximately 350 of the new arrivals returned by barge to Syria with generators, kerosene heaters and other supplies.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration:  1’07″

 

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