Angelina Jolie, in Damascus

From the UN News Center:

Visiting Iraqi refugees living in Damascus, the capital of neighbouring Syria, Ms. Jolie said yesterday that it was clear that many people will not be returning home for some time and will need continued support.

“Most Iraqi refugees cannot return to Iraq in view of the severe trauma they experienced there, the uncertainty linked to the coming Iraqi elections, the security issues and the lack of basic services,” she said.

An estimated 4.2 million Iraqis have left their homes since the start of conflict in 2003, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and currently 215,000 of them are registered with the agency in Syria.

Last year, I discussed the issue of Iraq refugees with Refugees International expert Kristele Younis: