Germany, Berlin: Germany has declared Syrian and Iraqi passports issued in territory controlled by the Islamic State (IS) group invalid. The measure went into effect in December as concern mounted that ‘IS’ had taken over public administrative functions and obtained vast quantities of blank documents.
The rule impacts both Iraqis and Syrians who possess travel documents issued after Jan 1, 2015 in territory controlled by IS in Syria in Iraq, the Interior Ministry said, confirming a report in the German weekly “Der Spiegel.” Europe has been on high-alert for jihadists disguised as refugees using false documents following last November’s Paris terror attacks, in which Syrian passports were found on the bodies of two men. The black market for Syrian passports remains rife. Nearly three-quarters of migrants entering Germany in January arrived with no documentation.
Passport holders from IS controlled areas will still be able to apply for asylum in Germany, but similar to other refugees must prove their identity and country of citizenship. Some so-called economic migrants intentionally arrive in Germany without travel documents, knowing that their country of origin does not qualify them for asylum status and protection.