Iraqi media recently reported that Iraqi government authorities have apprehended a significant number of Syrian Kurdish refugees. Concerns have been raised regarding their fate, particularly after three individuals were deported and handed over to Assad’s security services. These arrests coincided with the visit of the Iraqi Prime Minister to Damascus, where he met with Bashar al-Assad.
According to the Kurdistan 24 website, Iraqi security forces have detained approximately 70 Syrian Kurdish refugees in Baghdad, with several others also being apprehended in Mosul.
The reason provided for the arrest of these individuals is their alleged violation of the residency system, as explained by a reliable source. Distressingly, despite the expiration of their five-month prison sentences, the detainees remain in custody.
Extradition of three Syrians
The extradition of three Syrian Kurds on the previous Saturday intensified concerns among residents that they may also be handed over to Assad’s security services. These individuals were transferred to Assad’s intelligence services via a flight from Baghdad airport. Rashid Ali Jan, the head of Jani Roj, emphasized that forcibly returning refugees is a violation of international law, particularly when the detainees possess residency cards issued in the Kurdistan region. He further highlighted the illegality of deporting Syrian Kurdish refugees who hold UN papers from Erbil. Returning citizens to a country in the midst of war and conflict contradicts international law.
The Jani Roj Charity confirmed the handover of “Qahraman Akko Ali, Faisal Akko Ali, and Ali Zakaria Khalil” to Assad’s security services, following a judge’s decision in Baghdad. Notably, Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani paid a visit to Damascus on Sunday, where he engaged in discussions with Bashar al-Assad, the region’s leader.
In recent years, tens of thousands of Syrians have sought refuge in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, fleeing the ongoing war initiated by Assad’s militia or the conflicts between the SDF and ISIS in eastern Syria.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.