News > Iraqi Kurdistan Armenians > Transfer into the north of Iraq
Iraqi Armenians seek refuge in the northern parts of the country
Armenians of Iraq, concentrated largely in Baghdad are fleeing their homes to seek refuge in a formerly Armenian-populated village of Hadresk, near the border with Turkey and Syria. The village was depopulated during Saddam Hussein's rule.
Barouyr Hagopian, chairman of the Iraqi Armenian National Council, was quoted saying that some 70 Armenian families expressed strong desire to move to this village.
He said other Armenians are moving to the Kurdish-populated regions in the northern parts of the country which are safer.
"The town of Erbil in the north had once only few Armenians families, now there are about 70 Armenian families there," Hagopian said, adding that these families moved to Erbil from Baghdad and Mosul. He said these families even asked the National Council to send an Armenian priest.
There are no exact figures about how many Armenians fled Iraq since the U.S. invasion of the country, but Barouyr Hagopian estimates that some 2,500 of them have left the country.
He said the Armenian community has always maintained neutrality in disputes between Iraqi Shiites and Sunnis. "The first thing we want for Iraq is peace,' he said.
Source: Armenpress, 09 January 2009 from Yerevan (with adjustments)