English KURDI كوردي عربي
ERBIL, July 18 (AKnews) - Iraq has called on its citizens in Syria to leave the country and return to Iraq because of the escalating violence after police sources said two Iraqi journalists were killed in Damascus.
Government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said in a statement that the government expressed its concern about the increasing incidents of killing and attacks on Iraqis living in Syria.
According to the statement the Iraqi government called them to return to their country, adding that the Iraqi authorities will do everything to help them return.
Tens of thousands of Iraqis fled to Syria when the country witnessed sectarian violence after the fall of the former regime in 2003.
Iraq said earlier this month that it had boosted security along the border with Syria, the length of which is 680km.
A senior official in the Iraqi police said the Syrian authorities handed over the bodies of Iraqi journalists who were killed in Damascus during their coverage of the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, as quoted by Reuters.
The official said one of them is Ali al-Jabbouri al-Kaabi, the editor of the weekly Riwaa magazine in Baghdad. The second man is Falah Taha, a freelance journalist who worked with a number of Iraqi media. The two men were in their forties.
The source added that Iraqi authorities received the bodies late last night on the Iraqi border.
The source said: "The information that we have indicates that they were killed during clashes between armed groups and the Syrian army in Damascus.”
Syria has prevented the entry of almost all foreign journalists since the uprising began 16 months ago, but it recently allowed a limited number of journalists to enter accompanied by observers from the government.
By Abdullah Sabri