The United Nations hopes to have completed a survey of Iraqi refugees in Syria by January, however early figures are being released. I assume the early release is to help keep the drum beating to bring more Iraqis here now. Here are some interesting bits from a McClatchy News story of a few days ago.
The survey may provide some insight into the impact of U.S. actions. The preliminary results suggest that as American forces moved into Baghdad’s neighborhoods to establish security, large numbers of Iraqis moved out.
Of the refugees polled, 78 percent said they’d come from Baghdad , which has been the focus of military operations since the U.S. troop buildup began last February. Thirty-five percent said they’d fled between July and October, when U.S. troop strength peaked. Another 30 percent said they’d fled to Syria last year, as violence between Sunni and Shiite Muslims intensified.
As you will see the spin here is that somehow we cause the Iraqis to flee and no one ever suggests that maybe some of those fleeing are the bad guys. This survey found that about half of the refugees they surveyed were men while an earlier survey we reported on here indicated that 73% were men and most of those were aged 18-50. We asked if it was possible that a large portion of the “refugees” were fighters leaving Iraq as the surge began.
Then this is how this article wraps up:
The survey indicates that Iraqis are losing faith in their prospects of resettlement abroad and are focusing more on survival in Syria . The number of refugees who said they’d registered with the U.N. primarily for the chance of resettlement dropped from 27 percent last May to 15 percent in November. About half now say their main reason for registering is to obtain refugee certificates, which help them gain food assistance and school vouchers in Syria .
I just did a quick look at the survey and don’t see anything about “losing faith in their prospects of resettlement abroad”. Notice that only 15% (and it’s dropping) want to resettle elsewhere! Is it possible that the number is dropping because they want to go home to Iraq?
And as for that last statement, the reporter should have said over 60 percent are seeking assistance with food, schooling, and medical assistance and that is why they have registered with the UN. A statistic not addressed is that 23% were threatened and thus have registered with the UN, but no one tells us by whom they are threatened.
Also, it appears that another important statistic was overlooked (maybe I missed it), or maybe it will be in the final report in January. What percentage of the refugees are Christian, Sunni or Shite?
See the whole survey here.