Erbil (AsiaNews) - More than 15 thousand refugees of Kurdish ethnicity have crossed the border with Iraq to seek refuge in Iraqi Kurdistan in recent days. The exodus is the largest in the recent history of the Kurdish people. Archbishop Bashar Warda of Erbil, a city that is hosting the largest number of refugees, tells AsiaNews: "These people have left their homes and their belongings in Syria. They need everything: food, water, medicines and a shelter to sleep under. " The prelate says that the majority are women, elderly and children. Men and older children have remained in Syria to fight against the Islamist militias who in recent months have tried to conquer the region.
"Since the beginning of the exodus - continues Msgr. Warda - the diocese of Erbil kicked off a campaign of support, collecting basic necessities and creating places to welcome refugees". To handle the situation, the diocese has created a special committee, the Mercy Charitable Committee, with headquarters in Ankawa (Erbil) that sends food and goods daily to the camps set up by the government. Since the beginning of the Syrian conflict Iraq, and particularly the region of Kurdistan, has hosted more than 300 thousand refugees.
Archbishop Warda launches an appeal for support for the refugee population: "We need your help. We would greatly appreciate any help from people who want to help to feed and care for these families in need." The prelate stresses that the Chaldean Church, through its committee, makes regular visits to the camps, to verify the distribution of food. "We would be grateful to all those who want to support us."
This mass migration deeply concerns the regional government of Kudistan, unable for the moment to absorb the number of people arriving in the area. According to a source inside the Kurdish Democratic Party (Pyd) in recent months, the regional government has attempted to control the pass, giving the green light only to trade. However, no one expected an exodus of the population of this size. For Kurdish authorities if it continues at this level, then Syrian Kurdistan will be deserted. (S.C.)