Syrian exiles residing in Iraq since the early 1980s were exposed, during the period covered by the report, to major dangers that threatened their life and existence. They were targets for the Iraqi police, the armed militia close to them and the American forces. About 38 of them were killed after their being taken from their houses, the locations of their work or from the street. About 23 persons were arrested and forces in the uniforms of police attacked some of their houses in Hayfa Street and set on fire 15 houses on 16 January 2007. What intensified the danger of exposing the exiled Syrians to detention and murder was the refusal of the Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs to renew their residences or tearing them up and tearing up the documents some of them had gained from the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), to acquire the status of refugees.
Owing to these risks the families of the exiled tried to move to other countries, but the neighbouring countries refused even their transit across them. The UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR)was unable to offer any help despite contacting it and sending direct and indirect calls and appeals to it. Meanwhile, the intelligence and security apparatuses continued waiting for whoever of them returned and would arrest him upon his arrival at the Iraqi borders. Hundreds of the Syrian exiled families could do nothing but leave Iraq as soon as possible at any cost and by any means that would enable them to survive a sure massacre that had been contrived against them by the Iraqi police and the armed militia allied with them, leaving behind all their belongings and a quarter-of-a-century-long memories.
Nevertheless, another considerable number of families were not fortunate enough to depart, especially those who are waiting for the release of their relatives from prisons, those who are looking for their missing ones, those who have marriage and in-law relationships there, or those who could not find a means to depart. Those who have departed are suffering in their new residences from unemployment, destitute and loss of neighbours and companions.
In this respect the Syrian Human Rights Committee has recorded the following events: The corpse of the youth Salih al-Madani (25 years) was found in one of the streets of Baghdad on 11 September 2006. The police had arrested him along with his companions in the street on 15 July 2006. The twins Zaid and Zaidoon Tirkawi (17) were assassinated by the armed militia in early October 2006. Detention was the lot of Ahmad Tirmanini (55), Khidir Hasan al-Juburi, Abdullah Karkab al-Marsumi, Ibrahim Judai’ al-Marsumi, Khalaf al-‘Ilaiwi, Khidir Hamad al-Hasan and Ali Nasir on 21 December 2006 and their corpses were found mutilated two days after their arrest. The youth Abdul-Fattah Juha (20), a resident in Mosul was abducted on 14 January 2007 and his corpse was found a few hours after his abduction.
Muhammad Bakkur, Muhammad Badawi, Ibrahim Jarkas and Uthman Bisbasa were arrested on 9 January 2007. While Muhammad Bakkur, the Head of the Syrian Committee for Democratic Action was released two days later, but his comrades have not been released yet.
The Iraqi police arrested Rakan Taher Qintar (45) , Mahmud Abdul-Majeed al-Muhammad (43) and Ali Abdul-Kareem al-Modlej (28) in the second half of 2006, while the American forces arrested Abdul-Rahman Muhammad Qal’achi (57) and his three sons, ‘Adnan Abdul-Rahman Qal’achi (23), Ahmad Abdul-Rahman Qal’achi (30) and Razwan Abdul-Rahman Qal’achi (23), who was arrested in May 2007. The American forces arrested ‘Umar ‘Akkash (20) on 13 January 2007, Ahmad Muhammad Snobar (55) on 23 February 2007, Usama Muhammad ‘Mash (26) on 20 May 2007, Ibrahim Muhammad Abdul-Ghani Najjar (18) on 8 August 2007, and Abul-Rahman Ahmad Muhammad (29) on 16 August 2007. The Iraq police arrested Muhammad Ibrahim ‘Asi (42) on 25 March 2007, Abdul-Ghani Muhammad Najjar (20) in April 2007, Mus’ab Fa’our (26) on 3 July 2007, Ahmad ‘Awwad al-Hasan (34) on 25 April 2006, Ghasaan Muhammad Abdul-Ghani Najjar (21) on 15 July 2007 and Mustafa Mahmud Shamma (45) on 25 August 2007.