20,000 Syrian Kurds Flee Syrian Islamists, Enter Iraq
Thanks to violence in Syria between al-Qaeda supported rebels and Kurdish troops, 20,000 Syrian Kurds have fled to Iraqi Kurdistan. That’s just over the past six days. The tremendous flood of refugees has the United Nations puzzled, with Adrian Edwards, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, stating, “The factors allowing this sudden movement are not fully clear to us at this stage.” On August 15, nearly 8,000 Kurds from Syria apparently crossed a bridge across the Tigris into Iraq. On August 17, another 10,000 entered.
According to the latest figures, there are nearly 2 million Syrian refugees who have fled to surrounding countries. There are another 4.25 Syrians who have fled their homes in Syria but remain within the country. Since a mid-July firefight between Kurds and al-Qaeda Islamists in Syria, Islamists have gone on a rampage, murdering hundreds of Syrian Kurds. Most refugees are women, children, and the elderly. Refugee camps already dot Iraqi Kurdistan. The Turks are widely suspected to support the al-Qaeda Islamists in their quest to seize the oil-rich Kurdish areas of northern Syria.