Jolie ends her visit to U.S. troops, families uprooted by the war

By Stephen M. Silverman
August 29, 2007 07:35 AM

Angelina Jolie headed home from her brief trip to Iraq and Syria to witness firsthand the humanitarian crisis there, the United Nations Refugee Agency UNHCR announced.

The actress and UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador, 32, flew from New York to Syria on Monday. In Damascus, she visited a UNHCR registration center and spent hours talking to Iraqi refugees in their homes.

Wearing a blue flak jacket and a helmet, Tuesday’s journey took her to Iraq to meet with 1,200 refugees camped out in a makeshift outpost at the border, because they are unable to leave the country. She also witnessed dozens of Iraqis crossing into Syria.

“I have come to Syria and Iraq to help draw attention to the humanitarian crisis and to urge governments to increase their support for UNHCR and its partners,” Jolie said in a statement. “My sole purpose in both countries is to highlight the plight of those uprooted by the war in Iraq.”

Following her Tuesday meeting with those at the Al Waleed camp in the war-torn nation, Jolie said, “It is absolutely essential that the ongoing debate abut Iraq’s future includes plans for addressing the enormous humanitarian consequences these people face.”

Besides her activities for UNHCR, Jolie also met privately with American troops and other multi-national forces in the region.

She headed home from Syria on Wednesday, according to UNHCR officials.

It’s shaping up to be a busy week for the globetrotting Jolie, who spent some family time with Brad Pitt and their kids in New York City over the weekend. In addition to a trip to Central Park, Pitt and Jolie hosted a charity dinner in the Hamptons Saturday night for Brad’s Make It Right project, which is aiming to help rebuild New Orleans with environmentally friendly homes.

• Reporting by MARY GREEN