Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

WEB NEWS

France's top consumer group sues Internet giants

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users pay tribute to South Korea ferry victims

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

A landslide victory for the 'invisible candidate' in Algeria's Presidential polls

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 18 April 2014

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 18 April 2014 (part 2)

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Presidential adviser resigns over "shoe-shine scandal"

Read more

#THE 51%

Breaking stereotypes

Read more

#TECH 24

Galaxy S5 v. HTC One (M8): Which is the right one for you?

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

New PM Manuel Valls outlines priorities

Read more

  • Ukraine rebels call for Russian troops after deadly clash

    Read more

  • Why Syria’s cash-strapped jihadists let hostages go

    Read more

  • The Great War's unsung four-legged heroes

    Read more

  • UK’s Hamilton cruises to victory at Chinese Grand Prix

    Read more

  • Divers begin pulling bodies from sunken South Korean ferry

    Read more

  • Freed French journalists arrive home after Syria ordeal

    Read more

  • Syria’s Assad visits recaptured Christian town at Easter

    Read more

  • In pictures: French kite festival takes flight

    Read more

  • Le Pen’s National Front fail to woo Britain’s Eurosceptics

    Read more

  • PSG clinch fourth League Cup title after beating Lyon

    Read more

  • Militants kill Algerian soldiers in deadly ambush

    Read more

  • Scores killed in South Sudan cattle raid

    Read more

  • VIDEO: Anti-Semitic leaflets in Eastern Ukraine condemned

    Read more

  • In pictures: Good Friday celebrated across the globe

    Read more

  • Bouteflika, the ghost president

    Read more

  • Does Valls’ upcoming Vatican trip violate French secularism?

    Read more

  • Ukraine separatists say ‘not bound’ by Geneva deal

    Read more

  • Abel Ferrara’s hotly awaited DSK film to premiere on web

    Read more

  • Obama signs bill to block controversial Iran diplomat from UN post

    Read more

  • Astronomers discover Earth-like planet that could support life

    Read more

  • In pictures: Iranian woman pardons son’s killer at the gallows

    Read more

Middle east

Thousands of Syrian refugees flee to Lebanon

©

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-07-20

The United Nations refugee agency UNHCR said Friday that as many as 30,000 Syrian refugees may have crossed the border into Lebanon over the past 48 hours, while fleeing escalating violence in the country.

REUTERS - Up to 30,000 Syrian refugees may have crossed into Lebanon in the past 48 hours, in what would be a sharp increase of people fleeing fighting in the country, the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR said on Friday.

Syria’s borders remain open, it said, but the agency was not able to confirm reports Syrian rebels took control of two major crossings on the border with Turkey and the main Abu Kamal post on the border with Iraq on Thursday.

“We have reports we are trying to verify that thousands of Syrians overnight and yesterday crossed into Lebanon. So far reports vary between 8,500 and 30,000 people who may have crossed in the past 48 hours,” Melissa Fleming, chief spokeswoman of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), told a news briefing in Geneva.

“Borders remain open. People continue to arrive in Turkey. People continue to arrive in Jordan. People continue to flood into Lebanon and increasingly into Iraq,” she said.

About 80 buses carrying Iraqi refugees have crossed from Syria into Iraq in the last few days, Fleming added. “We’ve also heard reports that two Iraqi government airplanes came to Damascus to evacuate their citizens.”

In all, 120,000 Syrian refugees fleeing the 16-month-old conflict had registered with the agency in Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon and Turkey as of Wednesday, according to the UNHCR. However, many more Syrians have entered these four neighbouring countries without applying for international protection, it says.

Panos Moumtzis, UNHCR regional refugee coordinator, told reporters earlier this week an average of 700 Syrians were fleeing their homeland each day, with the exodus rising to 1,000 on some days.

One million Syrians are also believed to be displaced inside the country as of last week, Fleming said. The figure came from the Syrian Arab Red Crescent whose previous estimate was that 500,000 were uprooted.

Refugees in Syria are also increasingly caught up in the violence, UNHCR said. “They are receiving calls threatening them, accusing them of siding with the government,” Fleming said, noting that some had received death threats.

An Iraqi family of seven was found shot dead in their apartment in Damascus last week, while three other refugees were killed by gunfire, she said.

Thousands of refugees in Syria - Iraqis, Somalis and Afghans - have fled their homes due to the violence and “targeted threats” in recent days, she said.

About 2,000 refugees had taken shelter in the Damascus suburb of Jaramana in schools and parks, where they have been joined by “many Syrians” on the run.

Syrian banks are reported to be running out of cash and a rush to find safe housing has caused rents in some places to spike to $100 per night, she added.

“We’ve heard reports that many of the banks have just run out of money,” Fleming said. “I just have a report from our staff that says state and private banks are reported to be out of funds. Whether this is all banks, I don’t know.”

“This is specifically relevant to the refugee population as reported but it’s probably also affecting the Syrian population,” she said.

 

Date created : 2012-07-20

  • SYRIA

    Syria denies claims Assad is ready to step down

    Read more

  • SYRIA

    UN showdown over extending Syria observer mission

    Read more

  • SYRIA

    Syrian rebels seize control of border posts with Iraq

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)