This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 13th (it will be out in January 2020), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

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Monday, August 19, 2013

New Wave of Refugees Reminds Us That Syria is Still a Mess

The seemingly senseless killing of Egyptian citizens by the military (which makes the change in government look ever more like a military coup of the old traditional kind) has taken attention away from the mess in Syria. However, BBC News today reports on a new wave of refugees into Iraq (yes, into Iraq instead of out of Iraq).
Thousands of refugees from Syria are pouring over the border into Iraqi Kurdistan, the UN refugee agency says.
Up to 10,000 crossed at Peshkhabour on Saturday, bringing the total influx since Thursday to 20,000. The UN says the reasons are not fully clear.
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) says this is one of the biggest single waves of refugees it has had to deal with since the uprising against the rule of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad began in March 2011.
Some 150,000 Syrian refugees are already registered in Iraq, of the nearly two million said to have fled Syria in total since the uprising began.
The proximate reason seems to have been that someone (the story does not say who) built a pontoon bridge over the Tigris River separating Syria from Iraq in the northeast corner of Syria. People want to get out of Syria and it seems that all of a sudden they had a way to do it. This seems to make as much sense as anything associated with the two and a half year disintegration of Syria.

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