The government of Iraqi Kurdistan has set an entry quota of 3,000 refugees a day to cope with an influx of Kurds fleeing the civil war in Syria, but there are signs many more are still coming in, aid agencies said on Tuesday (August 20).

About 35,000 refugees, believed to be mainly Syrian Kurds, have entered Iraq since last Thursday (August 15), including an estimated 5,100, well over the cap, on Tuesday, the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR said.

UNHCR officials told an internal U.N. meeting in Baghdad on Monday (August 19) that up to 100,000 Syrian refugees could be expected to flee to Iraq within the next month, if the current pace continued, U.N. sources said.

Fleeing bombardments and sectarian tensions in parts of northern Syria including Aleppo and Efrin, the refugees arrive exhausted, with many children dehydrated from walking in the scorching heat.

More than 1.9 million Syrians have fled to neighbouring countries and North Africa since the uprising began in March 2011 and Syria descended into civil war.

Nearly half the estimated 4,800 people who crossed on Monday are children, the U.N. Children's Fund (UNICEF) said. It has identified at least 80 unaccompanied teenage boys sent across the border by their families for their safety or to find work.

Presented by Adam Justice

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