Iraq seals al-Qaim border crossing with Syria
After temporarily closing the al-Qaim border crossing, Iraq has completely sealed its border with Syria in the face of refugees who are fleeing the escalating violence in their home country. Security forces have blocked the crossing with concrete barriers and closed all the roads leading to the border crossing from the Iraqi side. These measures are implemented according to the decision on the national security committee that claims to close the border crossing in order to give the concerned parties the due time to set proper camps for refugees.
“Due to military operations, the al-Qaim border crossing is the destination of an increased number of refugees. Currently there are around 102 families including between 400 and 500 Syrian citizens waiting at the border from the Syrian side and waiting for the state’s decision to open the border and enter the Iraqi territory,” Farhan Ftaikhan, mayor of al-Qaim said.
More than four thousands Syrian refugees managed to cross the Iraqi border earlier this year through al-Qaim crossing.
They were hosted by their first and second degree relatives in the province of Anbar after receiving the permission of the security committee in the city. These refugees are waiting for the Iraqi government to issue a decision on the reopening of al-Qaim border crossing in order to save thousands of Syrian refugees who are subjected to cannon and warplane bombing.
“Syrians have been waiting at the Iraqi border for three days. They are staying under the burning sun without food or water. Nobody is helping them except the goodwill of some people who are providing them with some food to eat,” an elderly Syrian refugee said.
This grandmother said that she asked the Iraqi government to open the border and allow her to see her children, but she doesn’t know if she has lost one of my sons or grandchildren.
Sources in Syria say that dozens of Syrian people, including women and children are still stuck between the Syrian-Iraqi borders waiting for the opening of the border crossing of al-Qaim.