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The government of Iraqi Kurdistan has put an entry quota of 3,000 refugees per day in order to cope with the large number of Kurds fleeing the civil war in Syria.
Around 30,000 refugees have crossed into Iraq since Thursday, according to aid agencies. That followed the Kurdistan regional government authorities opening access to a new bridge on the border.
One Syrian refugee who had crossed into Iraq said he believed “there is no more hope of a peaceful solution in Syria”. He explained that they were being “bombed by the regime and members of the al-Nusra Front were blowing themselves up”. He said that “the Kurds and Arabs were fleeing the country”.
More than 1.9 million Syrians have fled the country since the conflict began in March 2011. The International Organisation for Migration has said that Kurds fear attacks by various armed rebel groups including al-Nusra, the Islamist militia linked to al-Qaeda.
The Governer of Arbil, one of the provinces within Iraqi Kurdistan, said that the “number of refugees is increasing daily” and they “are not prepared for such an influx”. Nozad Hadi explains that “it was a sudden exodus and the destination was Kurdistan”. He adds that they have “opened two more camps in Arbil”.
Massoud Barzani, President of Iraqi Kurdistan, said this month that the region would make “use of all of its capabilities to defend women, children and innocent civilians”.