Last updated: 13 June, 2012

Turkey says around 2,500 Syrians flee in two days

Around 2,500 Syrians have fled to Turkey in the last 48 hours, a Turkish foreign ministry official said Wednesday, saying the numbers had increased amid fresh attacks even targeting UN observers.

The number of Syrian refugees in camps set up in southeastern Turkey had reached 29,500, said the official who wished to remain anonymous. Some 1,500 Syrians had arrived in the last 24 hours, he noted.

The influx of refugees comes as violence continues in Syria, particularly in northwestern villages close to the border.

The refugees are accommodated in Turkish Red Crescent camps in the southeastern provinces of Hatay, Gaziantep, Sanliurfa and Kilis.

World powers are groping to find a way to end the bloodshed in Syria with the toll growing daily despite a ceasefire that should have gone into effect from April 12, and there are reports of children being used as human shields.

Turkey’s government has repeatedly accused the regime in Damascus of playing for time by using international mediator Kofi Annan’s peace plan as a pretext.

Activists say 14,100 people have been killed in the 15-month uprising against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, and UN peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous said this week he believed Syria was now in a civil war.

Turkey, once a strong ally of Syria, broke with Damascus after Assad’s regime began cracking down on dissent in March last year.