- 3 updates
Thousands of Syrian refugees poured into northern Iraq "in a sudden, massive movement", the United Nations said.
On Friday, a spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees said:
Overall the flow of Syrian refugees has dropped sharply since a peak earlier this year when 5,000 to 8,000 crossed every day into neighbouring countries, according to the UN.
Thousands of Syrian refugees poured into northern Iraq, taking advantage of a new bridge along the largely closed border, with most being women, children and elderly people from areas of heavy fighting, including Aleppo and Hassakeh.
Some Syrian refugees had been allowed in since mid-July for reasons of family reunification or dire humanitarian need, the UN added.
Between 5,000 and 7,000 refugees followed a first group of some 750 people who crossed the pontoon bridge at Peshkhabour over the Tigris River, and more buses were seen dropping off families on the Syrian side.