Syrian refugees feel 'trapped' in Iraq

After fleeing violence in their homeland, many say Iraqis have provided refuge, but with many restrictions.

    The increasing violence in Syria over the past few weeks has led to a sharp rise in the number of people fleeing the country.
     
    Many have gone to neigbouring Jordan and Turkey, but some have chosen to seek refuge in Iraq.
     
    They now say that it may have better to remain in Syria, as in Iraq they deal with suffocating restrictions.

    "We left because of the bombardment… we were scared for our children and women… Bashar Al-assad is slaughtering the people," said Mohamed, a Syrian refugee. "We thank the Iraqi government for letting us in, but we want to live with our relatives and [be] free to move."

    The Iraqi government initially refused to accept Syrian refugees on its soil, citing logistical and security reasons. It later revised its decision to allow them in, but only under army supervision.
     
    Many Iraqis have protested against the treatment, saying Syria hosted more than a million Iraqi refugees after the US invasion in 2003, giving them freedom of movement and access to medical care and schools
     
    Iraq says it is concerned about its own security, fearing the infiltration of armed groups.
     
    Al Jazeera's Omar Alsaleh reports from Baghdad, the Iraqi capital.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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