Wednesday, December 11, 2013

SYRIA - Kurdish Refugees Flee to Iraq

"Will flood of Kurdish refugees from Syria increase volatility in Iraq?" PBS Newshour 12/10/2013


GWEN IFILL (Newshour):  As Syria's civil war grinds toward its fourth year, the refugee crisis it's spawned grows larger by the day.

Chief foreign affairs correspondent Margaret Warner looks at the effects the flight of Syria's Kurds on the prosperous Kurdish region of Iraq.

In late summer, a new wave of refugees poured out of Syria, some 50,000 in a matter of days.  They were Kurds fleeing their homes in northeast Syria for the Kurdish region of Northern Iraq.  It wasn't Bashar al-Assad's forces that drove them out.  Kurdish militias were in control in their home areas.  The threat came from a different quarter instead, the ranks of anti-Assad jihadi rebel fighters linked to al-Qaida.

MAN (through interpreter):  The area was besieged by Al-Nusra Front.

MARGARET WARNER (Newshour):  This man left his Syrian town when it came under assault by Islamist rebels.

MAN (through interpreter):  An edict was issued permitting the shedding of Kurdish blood.  They called from the mosque loudspeakers that it is permitted.  And from that day forward, we didn't dare venture out.  I left in search for a place where I can find speech.

OMAR HOSSINO,  The Kurdish areas in Syria were seen as stable because the regime never really bombarded them, like they did with other rebel-controlled regions.

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