When Iraq's Middle Class Flee, They Often Get Poor

Some Iraqi refugees in Syria are stuck in a no-man's land. Those who may want to return home to Iraq cannot do so: Iraq's central government says it can't cope with a large influx of Iraqi returnees.

Aid organizations in Syria are realizing that Iraqi refugees are slipping into severe poverty because they're mostly middle class professionals who lack the skills to survive in a black-market economy.

"Coming to Syria is not something that the poor could afford," said Peter Harling, a Damascus-baed analyst with the International Crisis Group.

"We have seen, I think, an influx of a majority middle-class population, which has become increasingly impoverished," Harling said.

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