Iraq reopens border crossing to Syrian refugees

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A Syrian boy, who fled his home with his family due to fighting between rebels and government forces, draws a military tank with the Syrian flag, at the UNHCR nursery, in Baalbek, east of Lebanon, Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2012. There are more than 65,000 Syrian refugees in Lebanon living mostly in northern Lebanon and in the country’s eastern Bekaa region. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)

BEIRUT (AP) — Iraqi officials say a western border crossing with Syria has been reopened in order to receive refugees fleeing an escalating civil war in their country.

The mayor of Qaim, Farhan Fitkhan Farhan, says 100 Syrian refugees entered Iraq Tuesday and more would be let in on daily basis. But he says only women and children will be accepted while young men will be denied entry for security reasons.

He put the total number of the Syrian refugees who settled in camps in Qaim to about 4,348 people so far.

The Qaim border crossing was closed last month after the eruption of fierce fighting between Syrian government forces and rebels on the Syrian side of the borders.