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Hundreds of Syrian Kurds seek refuge in Iraq

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Hundreds of Syrian Kurds entered neighbouring Iraqi’s Kurdish autonomous region on Wednesday, fleeing a Turkish invasion, an official said.

“On Wednesday, about 800 Syrian refugees entered Iraqi Kurdistan,” said Rashid Hussein of the refugee authority for the autonomous Kurdish region.

The new arrivals, mostly women and children, were being taken to Berdarch camp in Dohuk province, he told AFP, as the fighting in nearby northeastern Syria entered its second week.

Iraqi Kurdistan previously hosted millions of Iraqis who fled fighting with Islamic State group jihadists who occupied much of the country’s north between 2014 and 2017.

Many of them are still housed in camps for the displaced.

NGOs operating in the region said they had been on alert since Ankara launched its operation on October 9 against Kurdish militants, following an abrupt US withdrawal.

On Saturday evening, 182 Syrian Kurds started crossing the border into Iraqi Kurdistan “to escape bombardments in northeastern Syria”, the International Organization for Migration said.

Dohuk province’s humanitarian affairs chief Ismail Ahmed said the first group included “Syrian Kurds already living in Iraqi Kurdistan, who went to visit relatives in Syria before returning because of the bombardments.”

On Wednesday, fresh fighting was reported in northern Syria pitting Turkey’s Syrian proxies against Kurdish forces backed by the Syrian army.

Damascus deployed troops to Kurdish-held areas that had been outside its control since 2012 under an accord with Kurdish authorities announced on Sunday.

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THE STANS
Syria Kurds defend key town as Turkey ignores US

Near Ras Al-Ain, Syria (AFP) Oct 15, 2019

Kurdish fighters put up fierce resistance Tuesday to Turkish forces battling to seize a key town in northeastern Syria, as the violence forced international aid organisations to halt their activities.

The United States slapped sanctions on its NATO ally in a bid to stop an assault that its own troop withdrawal triggered, but Ankara showed no sign of relenting.

Syria’s regime dispatched more troops to the northeast to contain Ankara’s advance – their most significant deployment in the Kurdish-co … read more






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