Northern Iraq: The forgotten front

Mid-East Uncategorized

With Turkey, the US and Kurdish forces fighting it out for oil and land in the North of Iraq, a humanitarian crisis is looming.

In a hotel lobby in Diyarbakir, Turkey, 24 hours before the first coalition bomb hit Baghdad, Metin Corabatir, a UNHCR external affairs officer, told me he expected 60,000 predominantly Kurdish refugees to arrive from over the border in northern Iraq immediately after war broke out.

But to date no refugees have arrived because Turkey’s border remains firmly closed to them. While Iran, Syria and Jordan have bowed to an 11th hour appeal by the UNHCR to open their borders and grant "unrestricted" access to aid workers, Turkey simply refuses to let them in.