August 20, 2013 - 17:38 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - The government of Iraqi Kurdistan has put in place an entry quota of 3,000 refugees a day to cope with an influx of Kurds fleeing the civil war in Syria, aid agencies said on Tuesday, August 20, according to Reuters.
About 30,000 refugees, believed to be mainly Syrian Kurds, have poured into Iraq since Thursday, and up to 3,000 were lined up to cross on Tuesday, the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR said.
Fleeing bombardments and sectarian tensions in parts of northern Syria including Aleppo and Efrin, they arrive exhausted, with many children dehydrated from walking in the scorching heat.
"The Kurdistan regional government authorities have put a daily quota for those refugees who will be allowed in," Jumbe Omari Jumbe of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) told reporters in Geneva.
"Today they will allow 3,000 persons in, but yesterday a similar quota of 3,000 was set but, at the end of the day, 5,000 refugees were allowed to cross."
A Western diplomat in Geneva said it was not clear how many more refugees might be on their way, adding: "We are not sure whether there is an actual quota policy or whether it is a practical ability to absorb them."
The IOM is providing food and water upon arrival, and transport for refugees to three transit facilities. It plans to deploy an ambulance to ferry the sick from the border to camps.
Jumbe said the Kurds feared attacks by various armed rebel groups including al-Nusra, an Islamist militia linked to al Qaeda.