Iraq Syria Situation Weekly Update No. 32, 20-26 December 2012
According to the recent reports from UNHCR border monitors, a total of 67,015 Syrian refugees entered Iraq by 26 December 2012. Al-Qa'im border crossing point is still kept closed and no arrival of Syrian refugees is observed through this crossing point. It will be opened only for emergency cases. Advocacy is continued to open the border crossing point.
In the Kurdistan Region (KR), the number of new arrivals continues to decrease compared to past weeks. This may be due worsening climatic conditions such as heavy rains and low temperatures, particularly along the border areas. A total of 766 persons were recorded during the reported period, with an average of 140 new arrivals daily. This brings the total number of Syrian refugees in the KR to 58,280 individuals. UNHCR continues the verification, registration and documentation of the Syrians. So far 52,251 individuals were verified and documents were issued for them.
Iraqi Cross Border Movement
According to UNHCR’s Border Monitoring reports, during the past week, some 1,892 Iraqis crossed into Iraq from Syria. All three border points (Al-Waleed, Rabi’aa and Al-Qa'im) remained open for Iraqi returnees. Al-Waleed continued to receive the largest number of returnees (1,379).
As of 26 December, the total number of Iraqis crossing the border into Iraq since 18 July 2012 is 63,255 including 5,997 by air. This number includes returnees who have been registered in Syria and those who have not been registered. It also includes individuals who cross the border for their private related reasons on a daily basis.
Statistics collected at the border continue to indicate that Baghdad is still the governorate to receive the largest number of Iraqi returnees, followed by Anbar and Ninewa.
In contrast, 962 Iraq individuals crossed the border to Syria, bringing the total number of Iraqis who crossed the border to Syria to 33,782 individuals since July 18, 2012.