Repatriation Flights for Hundreds of Iraqis Start after Attempts to Enter EU Fail

Repatriation flights for the hundreds of Iraqis stranded at the Belarus-Poland border have started.

The first flight with 374 Iraqi migrants on board has already arrived at Erbil airport while there are still others left behind along with migrants of other nationalities at the Kunizca border crossing.

“As of today, there are about 7,000 refugees in the territory of Belarus. About 2,000 of them are in the makeshift camp at the border. According to available information, from 200 to 500 refugees are scattered across various sections of the border,” said Belarusian presidency spokeswoman Natalya Eismont.

Eismont added that there were initially more than 400 Iraqi migrants that agreed to repatriation but did not give details on what to the rest.

Belarus later claimed that the camps at the border have been cleared while the migrants have been moved to heated warehouses to protect them from the cold.

Videos of the migrants reportedly staying at a warehouse being fed and staying in bunk beds have also circulated on social media.

The repatriation of refugees came right after Poland sent an ultimatum to Belarus and threatened to close off the border to freight trains.

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