News / Middle East

Syrian Refugees in Iraq Face Harsh Winter

Syrian Refugees in Iraq Face Harsh Winteri
X
February 05, 2013 3:07 PM
As the conflict in Syria approaches its second anniversary, the number of refugees crossing into Iraq continues to rise. The United Nations and international relief groups are no longer able to provide aid to Syrian families who are facing dire winter conditions in flimsy, ill-equipped camps.

Syrian Refugees in Iraq Face Harsh Winter

Sebastian Meyer
— As the conflict in Syria approaches its second anniversary, the number of refugees crossing into Iraq continues to rise. The United Nations and international relief groups are no longer able to provide aid to Syrian families who are facing dire winter conditions in flimsy, ill-equipped camps.

Freezing rain falls on the Arbat Refugee Camp in northern Iraq, more than 400 kilometers from the Syrian border. In the past five months, more than 500 Syrian refugees have traveled to this ad hoc camp in the middle of a bean field.

The children who are not playing outside in the mud try to stay warm by burning refuse found in an abandoned sheep barn.

Fuaz Akil is an ethnic Kurd from the Syrian city of Deir Ezzor. He's living with his family of 10 in a tent donated by the semi-autonomous Kurdish government of northern Iraq.

"We didn't come here for pleasure. We're suffering. Our house was destroyed. We lost everything. We came here because this is Kurdistan and these are our people," he said. "But still we are suffering. We're not living in this tent for fun. We had our own house. We had our own car. Our own tractor."

With more than 80,000 Syrian refugees in Iraq, the U.N. and other international agencies aren't supplying essentials to those crossing the border.

Tents, toilets, and food have been donated by the local government or by local charities.

Fatma Moussa, also a Kurd, traveled nearly a thousand kilometers from Aleppo after her house was destroyed by a rocket.

"It was the middle of the night when we left Aleppo. We were driven to Hasaka and then to the Iraqi border. It was snowing and I had to carry my son on my back," she said.

As the rain falls, children dart between shelters, trying to stay dry.

With the conflict in Syria showing no signs of abating, these refugees will continue to suffer through a harsh winter in the foothills of Iraq.

You May Like

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

Judge Declares Washington DC Ban on Public Handguns Unconstitutional

Ruling overturns capital city's prohibition on carrying guns in pubic More

Pricey Hepatitis C Drug Draws Criticism

Activists are using the International AIDS Conference to criticize drug companies for charging high prices for life-saving therapies More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: JKF from: Ottawa, Canada
February 07, 2013 11:04 AM
Are these refugees getting ignored, because they are in a remote Kurdish area, that does not have infrastructure? If the UN can't provide relief at the location, why does not the UN provide funds to move the refugees to an area it can help them? I do not know how these UN experts work; surely it should only take someone with an average IQ to resolve this issue; we are not talking about having to deliver help to the Moon?

They spend millions going to conferences/training seminars, and yet still they can't seem to solve the simplest of problems! In my opinion, if they can't solve this simple problem, the UN must be filled with too many people appointed by patronage, rather than ability, natural capabilities and a touch of common sense, for surely they are not biased against Kurdish refugees? or are they?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid