News / Middle East

Syrians Ferry Needed Goods From Iraq

Syrians Ferry Needed Goods From Iraqi
X
January 21, 2013 8:13 PM
The ongoing conflict in Syria has led to chronic fuel and food shortages. Thousands of desperate Syrians are carrying goods across an unofficial border crossing opened by the semi-autonomous Kurdish government in northern Iraq. Sebastian Meyer reports from the Iraq-Syria border.
Sebastian Meyer
The ongoing conflict in Syria has led to chronic fuel and food shortages. Thousands of desperate Syrians are carrying goods across an unofficial border crossing opened by the semi-autonomous Kurdish government in northern Iraq. 

Syrian men, bent double under the weight of their sacks, begin the four-hour trek from Iraqi Kurdistan back to Syria.

Every day more than 3,000 men make this journey into northern Iraq to get essentials such as food and gasoline for their families back home.

Ali Muhammad Bedawi, 22, made a trip from Aleppo for macaroni and diapers. The journey took 14 hours.

"There's no bread. There's no food. There's no gas. No fuel," he said. "People are starving."

Only a very few see this as a business opportunity. A liter of gasoline purchased in Iraq for one dollar will sell in Syria for a mere 50-cent markup.   

"We don't sell the kerosene because we need at home," said fuel vendor Hussam Moussa. "We only sell the gasoline."

The unofficial crossing has been opened by the semi-autonomous Kurdish government in northern Iraq without the permission of the central government in Baghdad.

Kurdish officials say their own history of suffering gives them responsibility to help Syrian Kurds.

"The Kurds of Iraq have taken lessons and have gone through those stages of history and I think that both the public itself and the administration itself in the KRG feel that it is a responsibility to act and to support and to provide assistance because we went through and we know how tough and how difficult it is," said Dr. Dindar Zebari, who is with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Department of Foreign Relations.

As the sun begins to set, a few remaining stragglers rush to leave Iraq. And with the conflict in Syria showing little signs of ending, cross-border traffic is unlikely to ease.

You May Like

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. More

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

Dropout rate at an all-time high in South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during 3-year civil war More

Tennessee Songbirds Fly Coop Long Before Tornadoes Arrive

Researchers say birds apparently alerted to danger by sounds at frequencies below range of human hearing More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportionali
X
Aru Pande
December 19, 2014 1:45 AM
The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportional

The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid