The Iraqi Ministry of Migration and Displacement announced that it had shut down all of it border crossing with Syria near the area where Turkey is conducting an offensive against the Syrian democratic Forces (SDF).
The Iraqi Ministry of Migration and Displacement announced on Thursday (October 17) that it had shut down all of it border crossing with Syria near the area where Turkey is conducting an offensive against the Syrian democratic Forces (SDF).
“The purpose of closing down those borders is to protect the internal security of Iraq and to prevent the infiltration of Daesh [Islamic State] militants onto Iraqi soil,” Migration and Displacement Minister Nawfal Baha said in a statement.
“The Iraqi Government is monitoring the Syrian situation closely and has made preparations to assist the people of that country at the time of their displacement onto Iraqi soil.”
“Iraq has called on the United Nations to assist and cooperate with the Syrian Government to resolve the country’s crises and facilitate the return of Syrian refugees,” the statement added.
There had been indications over the past several days that this move had been in the works, with the borders being hardened with razor wire and other impediments.
UNHCR reported that in September there were 229,285 Syrian refugees registered in Iraq, the vast majority of which were in the Kurdistan Region. Only 2,886 were in other governorates.