Middle East

UN reports Palestinian population decline in Syria

The U.N.'s Palestinian relief agency says Syria's Palestinian refugee population has fallen by one-fifth since the start of the Syrian conflict in 2011.

UNRWA Director Pierre Krahenbuhl said Friday there are 440,000 refugees in Syria, compared to 560,000 in the country before the war.

Many of those still in Syria have been displaced by Syria's six-year civil war. For them, it is the second time they or their families have been forced out of their homes, after being displaced from Palestinian lands by Israeli forces last century.

"Displacement is a very difficult experience, to lose another home, to lose another place of residence," said Krahenbuhl, who was wrapping up a five day tour of UNRWA operations in Syria.

Palestinian camps in Damascus and Aleppo, Syria's largest city, have been destroyed.