Iraq's Upper Class Flees

2M Iraqi refugees flood surrounding region
By Zach Samalin,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 20, 2007 4:08 PM CDT
Iraq's Upper Class Flees
Iraqi refugees gather in front of the offices of the United Nations High Committee for Refugees to register their names in Damascus, Syria, in this Feb. 11, 2007 file photo. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday, April 17, 2007, urged Iraq's neighbors to keep their doors open to tens of thousands...   (Associated Press)

(Newser) – More than 2 million Iraqis have left home, mostly crossing the borders into neighboring Jordan and Syria. And the upper class has been the first to go—robbing the country of the doctors, engineers and government officials necessary to rebuild it. With one of ten Iraqis living abroad, the war has become one of the largest refugee crises since the Arab-Israeli War of 1948, Der Spiegel reports.

The US has come under fire for keeping its doors all but closed: since 2003, roughly 500 Iraqis have been granted asylum in the US Meanwhile, Jordan has let in 750,000, and nearly 2000 refugees pass into Syria each day, many of them victims of torture and family tragedy. The Syrian government has been left to deal with overcrowding, inflation, unemployment, and costs in the billions. (Read more Syria stories.)

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