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Wednesday, 12 August 2020

Turkey preparing for new wave of Syrian refugees: Govt source

AFP , Wednesday 21 Oct 2015
Syrian refugees
Turkish military use a water cannon to stop Syrian refugees as they wait behind the border fences to cross into Turkey (Photo: Reuters)
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Turkey is prepared for a new wave of refugees from Syria following an offensive by regime forces and Russian aircraft which has displaced thousands of people, a government source said Wednesday.

"We are ready for it if it happens. Preparations have been made to shelter them in the vicinity of Kilis," a city in south-central Turkey near the border with Syria, a Turkish official told APF.

A camp had been set up in the area by Turkey's Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD), he said.

Russia has been bombing Syria since September 30 after President Bashar Al-Assad requested help in his fight against rebels trying to oust him. The latest offensive has caused a mass exodus from Aleppo, according to the UN.

Among those fleeing are some 50,000 Turkmen heading for the Turkish border, media reports in Turkey said.

Turkey switched its alliance from President Bashar Al-Assad to the rebels at the outbreak of the civil war in 2011, and since then has taken in over 2.2 million Syrian refugees, some 250,000 of whom live in camps in the country's south.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and German Chancellor Angela Merkel said they were worried the bombing campaign on Aleppo would spark a new exodus of refugees into Turkey and possibly onwards to Europe.

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