Iraq evacuates its citizens from Syria

Iraq evacuates its citizens from Syria

PanARMENIAN.Net - Hundreds of Iraqis flew out of Syria over the past two days to escape an escalating civil war, officials said Friday, July 20 while thousands more poured through a major border crossing despite rebel takeovers of Syrian government posts and violence near the two nations' boundaries.

According to AP, the Iraqi government has so far run eight flights to Damascus and by Friday morning had evacuated 750 residents, said Capt. Saad al-Khafaji of the state-owned Iraqi Airways. Two planes were headed back to pick up more passengers, he added.

"We will continue the flights until there are no Iraqis left" in Syria, al-Khafaji said. He said transportation officials have stopped bussing Iraqis across the border from Syria "because of the dangers."

Meanwhile, two Iraqi government officials said the border crossing at al-Walid — the largest between Iraq and Syria — remained open. They said an estimated 50 buses, some 3,000 people, had so far come through al-Walid.

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