Iraq: More than 800,000 Iraqi refugees in Syria

Syria has admitted more than 800,000 Iraqis who have fled the violence raging in their country, the official Al-Baath newspaper quoted the Syrian Interior Ministry as saying Wednesday. The report put the influx down to Syria's relaxed rules for Arabs seeking visas as well as Syria's physical and cultural proximity to Iraq. The report said as many as 648,000 of the Iraqis entered Syria in 2003 in the months after the overthrow of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein by US-British forces.