News / Middle East

Turkey Says 1,500 Syrians Fled Across Its Border in One Day

Newly arrived Syrian refugees walk to their tents in the Turkish border town of Reyhanli in Hatay province June 23, 2011, as others who are already placed rest in front of their tents.
Newly arrived Syrian refugees walk to their tents in the Turkish border town of Reyhanli in Hatay province June 23, 2011, as others who are already placed rest in front of their tents.

Turkey says that more than 1,500 Syrian refugees crossed its border on Thursday as Syrian forces stormed to the region in their latest show of force against anti-government protesters.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry said Friday that more than 11,700 Syrians are now housed in massive tent encampments in Turkey even as the Syrian troops have moved within 500 meters of the border.  

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called the border scene "very worrisome" and warned Syria to pull its troops back. She said their presence is worsening an already bad situation for refugees and risks sparking border clashes with the Turks.

Clinton told reporters in Washington that the Syrian military should immediately end attacks and provocations in the region. She said the buildup of soldiers near the Turkish border is another sign of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's intent to repress the Syrian people.

Early Thursday, Syrian troops backed by tanks and snipers stormed the border town of Khirbet al-Jouz, sending hundreds more refugees fleeing into Turkey.

Syria's deployment is the closest its troops have come to neighboring Turkey since the military operation in the area began two weeks ago.  Turkish troops moved their border positions several hundred meters back, apparently to avoid potential confrontations with Syrian units.

Most of the refugees crossed into Turkey in a convoy of about 20 minibuses, while others rushed on foot across the border.

The president of the Turkish Red Crescent, Tekin Kucukali, who spoke to reporters in the border town of Guvecci, said many of the refugees described fleeing the sound of gunfire and advancing tanks.  He said an estimated 17,000 more displaced Syrians have massed along the border, poised to flee.

The two countries' foreign ministers discussed the situation in Syria and the refugee issue by telephone, and Syria's ambassador to Ankara was later summoned to the Foreign Ministry.

The uprising against Assad reached its 100th day Thursday.  Activists say Syria's crackdown has killed at least 1,400 people.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

 

Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs