Iraq evacuates its citizens in Syria by air
BAGHDAD (AP) -- Iraq is evacuating hundreds of its citizens from Damascus by air because clashes between Syrian soldiers and rebels have left land routes too dangerous, officials said on Friday.
Iraqi Airways Capt. Saad al-Khafaji said 750 Iraqis have been flown out of the Syrian capital since Thursday. Two more flights of evacuees were expected Friday.
Over the last 24 hours, an estimated 3,000 Iraqis have poured over the main border crossing between Iraq and Syria. Rebels seized control of at least one crossing on Thursday.
Mohammed Fathi, a spokesman for Iraq's western Anbar province, said the Red Cross was setting up tents and distributing medical supplies for refugees Friday at the al-Walid crossing, an estimated 600 kilometers (373 miles) from Baghdad.
Officials said rebels held the border crossing at Qaim, north of al-Walid.
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