Quota imposed on Syrians entering Iraq
The government of Iraqi Kurdistan has imposed a refugee quota of 3000 Syrians a day, aid agencies announced on Tuesday.
It is estimated that around 30,000 refugees have fled Syria into Iraqi Kurdistan since Thursday, the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR said.
"This new exodus from Syria is among the largest we have seen in the conflict," UNHCR spokesman Dan McNorton told Reuters news agency.
Most of the people fleeing are Syrian Kurds, from the northern part of Syria, including the city of Aleppo. Over the past few months both al Nusra and al Qaeda's Islamic State in Iraq have been fighting for control over Syria's northern territories, also home to the country's Kurdish population.
The massive influx of refugees in the past few days has been attributed to the opening of the new Peshkhabour pontoon bridge in northern Iraq, UNHCR said. However the agency added that the Peshkabour bridge bridge was now being used for commercial traffic, with refugees diverted to the Sahela crossing to the south.
The UN. Children's Fund (UNICEF) has said that of the estimated 4,800 people who crossed the border on Monday, nearly half of these were children.
"Many are below 12 years old, and the younger ones were particularly dehydrated and exhausted after the four or five hour walk across the border in the scorching heat," UNICEF spokeswoman Marixie Mercado told Reuters.