GENEVA (AA) - The UN refugee agency, UNHCR said on Tuesday around 180,000 people fled from the central Iraq town of Hit after the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or the ISIL, and affiliated armed groups captured the town last weekend.
"Tens of thousands of desperate Iraqis are now caught in a rolling wave of multiple displacement amidst the conflict's shifting frontlines," UNHCR spokesperson Melissa Fleming said in a press conference in UN headquarters in Geneva on Tuesday.
UNHCR estimated that 1.8 million citizens have been internally displaced in 2014 throughout Iraq.
About Kobani, where ISIL launched its offensive in the Kurdish-populated Syrian town close to Turkey – in mid-September, Fleming said "In northern Iraq, an increasing number of Syrian Kurds from the besieged border town of Kobani are seeking shelter in Dohuk province having crossed the border from Turkey."
"Some 5,400 Syrians from Kobani have now entered Iraq via Turkey, including 3,600 people in the last three days. Another 10,000 to 15,000 people are expected to cross in the coming days," she added.
According to UNHCR, Iraq hosts some 214,000 Syrian refugees and the vast majority of these refugees are residing in the Kurdish region of Iraq.