Friday, December 14, 2007

Iraq's Future Hides in Syria

One in five Iraqi refugees in Syria reports having been tortured or subjected to other violence. And one in three of them left Baghdad during the US military surge when conditions were supposedly made much better.

Those are preliminary findings of a United Nations study reported by McClatchey Newspapers.

The survey also found that the refugee population is highly educated and that many refugees are just weeks away from exhausting their savings.

The preliminary results, however, offer intriguing insights into the refugees. Of the refugees polled, 78 percent said they'd come from Baghdad. Thirty-five percent said they fled between July and October, when U.S. troop strength peaked during the surge. Another 30 percent said they'd fled to Syria during 2006, as sectarian violence intensified.

Nearly a third — 32 percent — have graduated from a university or hold master's and doctorate degrees.

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