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Sunday, November 11, 2012

11,000 Syrian refugees in 24 hours

These are real refugees:
Thousands of Syrians fled their country on Friday in one of the biggest refugee exoduses of the 20-month civil war after rebels seized a border town, and the United Nations warned that millions more still in Syria will need help as winter sets in.

The UN said 11,000 refugees had fled in 24 hours, mostly to Turkey. The influx caused alarm in Ankara, which is worried about its ability to cope with such large numbers and has pushed hard, so far without success, for a buffer zone to be set up inside Syria where refugees could be housed.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based group that compiles opposition activist reports, said at least 20 members of the Syrian security forces were killed when rebel fighters attacked a security headquarters in Ras al-Ain.

Thousands of residents poured out of the Arab and Kurdish town, in the northeastern oil-producing province of Hasaka, 600 km (375 miles) from Damascus.

In Geneva, a senior UN official highlighted the plight of Syrians still in the country. An estimated 4 million people would need humanitarian aid by early next year when the country is in the grip of winter, up from 2.5 million now, said John Ging, director of operations at the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
I didn't realize that Ging, who left UNRWA last year, was now at UNOCHA. Ging was consistemtly critical of Israel and let anything from Hamas slide - even though he was the target of at least two murder attempts in Gaza.