Further to my post of last week, it turns out Riverbend was one of the last Iraqis able to escape to Syria without a visa. Syria used to allow any Iraqi to stay six months without a visa, but in the last few days imposed restrictions which mean that most Iraqis must apply to the Syrian embassy in Baghdad for visas before crossing the border. Jordan imposed similar restrictions two years ago. Syria is struggling to cope with the estimated Iraqi 1.4 million refugees living there. Puts the UK’s ‘refugee problem’ into perspective.