The Mideastwire Blog

Excerpts from the Arab and Iranian Media & Analysis of US Policy in the Region

Iraqi refugees being attacked and are declared persona non grata by oppositionists

From our mideastwire briefing today – slowly chipping away at the desired “controlled collapse” scene in DC:

On February 9, the Az-Zaman newspaper carried the following report by Nidal al-Laythi: “Iraqi refugees in Syria who arrived in Iraq yesterday revealed that eight Iraqis were shot dead by unknown elements in the center of Damascus, at a time when the killing and kidnapping of former Iraqi officers in exchange for ransoms were repeatedly seen throughout the Syrian cities… In their statements to Az-Zaman under condition of anonymity, the refugees said that two armed men opened fire on a bus carrying more than 50 refugees who were on their way to Iraq on the Aleppo-Damascus road, which caused the wounding of many among them and their transfer to the Al-Walid passageway on the border with Syria to receive treatment.

“The refugees continued to Az-Zaman that armed men intercepted many vehicles throughout the past weeks on the Damascus international road, forcing one of them to stop and its passengers to place all the money, jewelry and mobile phones they were carrying in a big they had before they were allowed to leave. Another refugee revealed to Az-Zaman that a family of refugees in Syria paid a ransom of around $10,000 to ensure the release of its child who was kidnapped by unidentified men… For his part, an Iraqi refugee who left Syria and had just arrived to Amman stated to Az-Zaman that the Iraqi refugees were no longer welcomed by the opposition, in light of media reports talking about Iraqi armed men crossing the border into Syria to support the regime.

“He said: “This led to strong reactions by the oppositionists toward the Iraqi government which classified them as traitors,” continuing: “On the other hand, the Iraqi refugees have become unwelcomed by the majority of the regime’s institutions which consider them to be affiliated with the opposition due to their belonging to a specific sect.” Asked how the Iraqi refugees coming from Syria were earning residency in Jordan, the source said they did not meet the requirements of the Jordanian law which forces the refugees to put $8,000 in a Jordanian bank in advance before requesting a residency. He thus explained that the majority of the refugees coming from Syria to Jordan were heading to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to seek help, knowing that the organization is deploying extraordinary efforts to assist the refugees…

“Asked about the fate of the Iraqi oppositionists living in Syria, the Iraqi refugee who had just arrived to Amman said they feared assassination by armed men who just entered Iraq [probably means Syria] to support the regime and who carry lists featuring their names and addresses. The refugee who requested anonymity added to Az-Zaman: “Consequently, most of them changed their places of residence in Damascus and moved to other Syrian provinces, or left Syria altogether and headed to Amman or Irbil in the Kurdistan province. Most of the refugees returning to Iraq never go back to their original towns and are forced to hide upon their arrival. They are forced to fill security forms distributed to them upon their arrival to the Al-Walid border crossing, featuring accurate information about them.””

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Written by nickbiddlenoe

February 10, 2012 at 7:41 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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