Desperate Syrian refugees illegally cross into Kurdistan Region from Rojava: Officials
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Refugees from northeastern Syria are resorting to illegal means to enter the autonomous Kurdistan Region amid Turkey’s military operation in the area, Kurdish officials said on Tuesday.
Since the start of a Turkish military incursion in northeastern Syria, also known as Rojava, over 7,000 people have arrived in the Kurdistan Region, according to the Barzani Charity Foundation (BCF).
According to Safeen Dizayee, the head of the Kurdistan Region’s Department of Foreign Relations, many of the recent Syrian refugees have entered Kurdistan through “other ways” rather than crossing the Fishkhabur border crossing legally.
Dizayee told Kurdistan 24 that the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) had already opened its arms to receive the refugees fleeing from northeastern Syria, and provide them with basic services.
Elsewhere, Rebar Ahmed, the Kurdistan Region’s Interior Minister, stressed that the Kurdistan Region’s Fishkhabur gate remains open to receive refugees.
He told Kurdistan 24 that Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masrour Barzani had officially requested all KRG ministries and authorities to facilitate the entry of refugees and to provide accommodation.
“Unfortunately, refugees do not use legal ways to enter the Kurdistan Region,” Ahmed said.
Kurdistan 24 interviewed some of the new arrivals in the Kurdistan Region, many of whom admitted that they paid smugglers to help them cross the border illegally. According to some of the refugees, authorities in Rojava have prevented them from crossing legally through the Fishkhabur gate.
Kurdistan 24 tried to contact authorities in northeastern Syria for comment about the situation on the border but received no response.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany