Iraq to send first repatriation plane to Belarus

14:11, 18 November 2021
Iraq to send first repatriation plane to Belarus

Over 570 Iraqi migrants willing to return to their motherland will be able to do so on Thursday.

Spokesperson for Iraq’s Foreign Ministry Ahmed al-Sahaf has announced that the first flight aiming at bringing home Iraqi refugees stuck on the Belarus-Poland Border will be held this Thursday.

The government representative added that a total of 571 Iraqi residents will have the opportunity to leave the highly tensed region. Still, the departure is not obligatory.

Most migrants questioned on the possibility are likely to take it.

“Yes, I’m going to return home like all the others here,” said one of them.

Some revealed that they cannot fight the coldness in Europe and spoke about other problems.

“My fingers failed to get through the barbed wire, it was too cold. I’m here for the moment, I don’t know where I will go then.”

Most of the Iraqi migrants trapped in the area come from Kurdistan (north of the country), the region near the borders of Syria, Iran, and Turkey.

The Belarus-EU border crisis aggravated at the beginning of November. Poland, a member of the EU, accuses Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko of pushing illegal migrants from Afghanistan, Iraq, and other countries of the Middle East to its frontiers.

According to Poland, Lukashenko seeks to provoke a crisis aiming at destabilizing the EU while the latter calls it "hybrid warfare".

The Belarusian President supported by his Russian ally Vladimir Putin blamed Europe for betraying their ideals and migrant policy and even threatened to cut gas to Europe in case the EU imposes further sanctions.