Syria: 1.5 mln internal refugees, UNHCR said

Grateful to Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey for open door policy

24 July, 15:03

(ANSAMed) - GENEVA, JULY 24 - There are an estimated 1.5 million internal refugees in Syria, UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) spokesperson Melissa Fleming said on Tuesday. ''Between 1 and 1.5 million people have fled their homes but remained in the country. More and more of them need humanitarian aid,'' Fleming said, quoting the latest Syrian Red Crescent figures on the 16-month conflict.

In Damascus, thousands of people are camping out in 58 schools and several public gardens, Fleming said. Of those fleeing the country, 30,000 have fled to Lebanon, 36,000 to Jordan, and 44,000 to Turkey, according to official estimates.

The real numbers are much higher, Fleming said.

Another exodus is that of Iraqi refugees returning to their homeland out of fear of being caught in the crossfire. Of these, approximately 10,000 have approached UNHCR, and been repatriated on Iraqi government-sponsored flights since Wednesday, Fleming said.

UNHCR is grateful to Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey for their open door policy towards Syrian refugees, Fleming added.



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