Syria refugee flow getting worse as fighting continues: UN


A general view of the Domiz refugee camp, 20 km southeast of Dohuk city, in northern Iraq, on August 24, 2012. The camp hosts Syrian-Kurds of all stripes, from soldiers who did not want to kill their countrymen to people trying to escape the violence across the border in neighboring Syria.



More than 200,000 refugees to date have fled Syria to camps in neighboring countries, the UN's refugee agency said in a statement on Friday.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees counted a more than 30,000-strong jump in refugees during the past week. That number included some who had not yet been formally registered as refugees, the agency said.

Syrians fleeing the violence in their home country have sought refuge in Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq, according to UNHCR.

At least 21 people were killed in eastern Syria on Friday after government air strikes hit an apartment building, the Associated Press reported. In Damascus, activists reported at least 15 killed by shelling from regime forces.

The New York Times reported increased violence Friday in a suburb of Damascus. "Over the past two days, 74 people have been killed by shelling and raids. Residents reported that living conditions were quickly deteriorating, with blackouts and shortages of food, water and medical care," the Times wrote, citing activist reports for number of dead.

The crisis in Syria has left international actors scratching their heads about the best course of intervention. Lakhdar Brahimi, the new UN-Arab League envoy to Syria, said Friday that he is "flattered, humbled and scared" to take on the task ahead of him, the Associated Press reported.

Yesterday, Britain and France both suggested that they would consider military intervention in Syria, with France suggesting implementation of a partial no-fly zone, The New York Times reported. On Monday, US President Barack Obama said that he would consider military intervention in Syria if he saw evidence of chemical weapons being used or moved.

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