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Desperate Conditions in Iraqi Refugee Camps

IRIN has issued a report on the squalid conditions in a refugee camp on the Syrian-Iraqi border:

Hundreds of Palestinian refugees stranded at al-Waleed makeshift camp in no-man's land between the desert borders of Iraq and Syria are living in precarious conditions and people could die if they do not get medical treatment, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said on 15 May.

"We are particularly worried about the lack of medical facilities - many of the camp's 942 residents need urgent medical attention, including a mother of seven who suffers from leukemia and a teenage diabetic boy," UNHCR spokesperson, Jennifer Pagonis, said in a statement on Tuesday.

"The tented camp is overcrowded and many people are suffering from respiratory and other ailments that need proper medical treatment. But the nearest hospital in Iraq is located four hours away by car and the road runs through dangerous territory," the statement said.

According to the UNHCR, an estimated 1,400 Palestinians are living in desperate conditions in refugee camps along the Iraq-Syria border, unable to cross into a country already straining to cope with hundreds of thousands of Iraqi and Palestinian refugees.

A steady flow of Palestinians have fled Baghdad since March 2006, when intimidation, forced evictions and attacks against their community began mounting.

The Palestinians in these camps are the victims of two modern-day diasporas. First, the Palestinian Diaspora that began during the first Arab-Israeli War of 1948-49. Second, the Iraqi Diaspora that began after our invasion of Iraq in 2003.

These refugees and another 4 million like them in Iraq and spread throughout the Middle East will be George Bush's lasting legacy. One wonders how long he can ignore them. So far, the mainstream media is playing along.

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Comments (4)

superdestroyer[TypeKey Profile Page]:

Why would the left care about refugee camps when they have single minded pursue policies that will create more refugee camps after the U.S. abandons Iraq and throws the Kurds under the proverbial bus?

the Democrats seem to be pushing to create more refugees without doing the hard work of planning for them.

superdestroyer[TypeKey Profile Page]:


I believe that the left wants to do the Somalia strategy where if the U.S. gets out it will be so dangerous that no western news agency will be there and it will drop off as an issue since no one in the media will be reporting on it.

I did not call you a traitor but if the left wants to get out of Iraq no matter what, I expect some one of the left to propose where the refugee camps will be, who wil run them, and who will pay for them.

I also expect someone on the left top pick out some section of NYC and DC to become little Baghdad and fill up with all of the refugees.

Steve Crickmore:

Larkin..Keep firing away on this issue..For some reason Bush and Cheney haven't mentioned the existing refugeee disapora..only the terrible consequences, that the Democrats would cause,if we pulled out..see Defying Orders, Saving Lives: Heroic Diplomats of the Holocaust by Richard Holbrooke in 'Foreign Affairs' You would think the neo-cons who are driving American foreign policy in Iraq might be a little more sensitive to this issue?


Yes, keep firing those blanks on this issue.

Especially that first one, where the Iraqi "refugee camp" which was a neighborhood made up of fairly nice apartment buildings with electricity and taxi service.

So far, the only "refugee camp" we've seen is this one - which is made up of Palestinians (anyone want to guess why a lot of them got kicked out of Iran? Rhymes with "mamas."), and is less than a thousand people. Which means that, if your "four million" guesstimate were true, would mean that there are supposed to be FOUR THOUSAND similar camps.

Instead, we see, well, part of one, and a reference to one other, smaller camp.


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Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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