Flow of Refugees From Syria Accelerates, UN Says
The United Nations reported an alarming acceleration in refugee flow from Syria on Friday, shattering previous estimates and reinforcing fears that the Syrian conflict could create a humanitarian crisis drawing in the country’s immediate neighbors.
The new data on refugees came as antigovernment activists reported that the Syrian military pounded suspected insurgent enclaves in Homs, Deir al-Zour, and Damascus with artillery and airstrikes, and as fighting raged in Aleppo.
The office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees said that more than 200,000 refugees had registered in Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey, with 30,000 new arrivals tallied the past week. The agency had previously anticipated a total of 185,000 registered refugees by the end of this year.
”We’re already past where we were in terms of planning,” Adrian Edwards, a spokesman for the refugee agency, said in a phone interview from its headquarters in Geneva. ”We’re going to have to revise upward the planning figures.”