BAGHDAD OR BUST!! Iraqi Refugees Surge Back Home
Baghdad Security Is Restored
Iraqis are returning home by the thousands.
Residents welcome their relatives who have just returned from Syria after arriving in Baghdad November 21, 2007. Encouraged by the lull in the bloodletting in their homeland, Iraqis are beginning to trickle home, desperate to escape the financial hardships that exile has imposed on them. (REUTERS/Mahmoud Raouf Mahmoud)
Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis are returning back home according since the restoration in security.
A whole neighborhood has cleared out in Damascus.
The Times Online reported:
Iraqi refugees are returning home in dramatic numbers, concluding that security in Baghdad has been transformed. Thousands have left their refuge in Syria in recent months, according to some estimates.
The Iraqi Embassy is organising a secure mass convoy from Damascus to Baghdad on Monday for refugees who want to drive back. Embassy notices went up around the Syrian capital yesterday, offering free bus and train rides home.
Saida Zaynab, the Damascus neighbourhoods once dominated by many of the 1.5 million Iraqi refugees, is almost deserted. Apartment prices are plummeting and once-crowded shops and buses are half empty.
The UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) was scrambling to assess the transformation last night. An interim report is expected today. “There is a large movement of people going back to Iraq. We are doing rapid research on this,” a spokesman said.
Residents who have just returned from Syria stand near their luggage after arriving in Baghdad November 21, 2007. (Reuters)
1,000 Iraqis are surging home each day.
The BBC reported:
An estimated 1,000 people a day are returning across Iraq’s borders having previously moving abroad to escape the violence, Iraqi authorities say. Most of the returnees are coming from Syria – and very few from Jordan, where better-off refugees tended to go.
An improving security situation – but also the lack of job opportunities for Iraqis in Syria – may account for the move, correspondents say.
Members of an Iraqi refugee family wait for their visas to be granted at the Tanaf border crossing between Syria and Iraq, some 300 kms northeast of Damascus, 10 November 2007. (AFP)