Iraqi Refugees in Syria Voice Support for Protests in Iraq
    2011-02-17 03:22:43     Xinhua      Web Editor: Zheng
 

Iraqi refugees in Syrian voiced support Wednesday for recent protests in their home country.

"These protests express people's anger on the bad government's services," Walid al-Hasani, a 55-year-old Iraqi refugee living in Damascus, told Xinhua, referring to Saturday's protests in Iraq against rampant corruption, lack of public services, unemployment and unfair apportionment.

"The Iraqi citizens inside and outside Iraq have been put at the very bottom of the Iraqi government's agenda," he added, calling on protesters to go ahead to "force the government to meet their demands."

Iraqi citizens have been suffering years of deteriorated security, economic and humanitarian situation, due to the fierce conflicts between different rival political parties.

Isam al-Bouhlala, the Damascus-based secretary general of Iraqi Clans National Alliance, said his alliance has called for a peaceful protest on Feb. 25 aiming at demanding the Iraqi people's rights.

"I call the Iraqi forces to protect the protesters and allow them to express their opinion peacefully, in an echo of the Egyptian army's behavior," Bouhlala said.

There are over one million Iraqi refugees with various ethnic, religious and economic backgrounds living in Syria, far more than in any other country in the region. Most of the refugees fled Iraq due to the mass destruction caused by the U.S. troops' invasion in 2003 and extreme sectarian violence.

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