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Syrian refugees flee to Turkey as troops surround border town

Written by kumaran   // June 9, 2011   // Comments Off

sriya to turkey

Syrian troops encircled a restive northern town on Thursday, an activist said, and more than 1,000 residents fled through a single escape route to Turkey where they camped outside on both sides of the lush frontier.

Syria’s authoritarian government has acknowledged losing control of parts of the northern province of Idlib, and what appeared to be an imminent assault in the town of Jisr al-Shughour would sharply escalate the upheaval that threatens the 40-year regime led by President Bashar Assad.

Dozens of Syrians were crossing into Turkey by the hour from Idlib, some on motorbikes and pickup trucks, some on foot.

“I don’t want to die. I want Bashar Assad to go,” said one Syrian teenager, who identified himself only by his first name, Ahmad, fearing reprisals from the Syrian government. Activists say more than 10,000 people have been detained since the uprising began in mid-March.

Syrian tanks were also deployed in the streets of Aleppo, the province that is home to Syria’s second-largest city of the same name, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan told CNN-Turk television late Wednesday.

“There are tanks in the streets,” Erdogan said. “They seem to have lost control there.” Aleppo has historic ties with Turkey and Erdogan said his government was taking measures to protect families there. Erdogan has said Turkey would accept all Syrians who flee, but he also has urged Syria’s government to adopt reforms aimed at ending the unrest.

In Geneva, Navi Pillay, the U.N.’s High Commissioner for Human Rights, accused Syria of trying to “bludgeon its population into submission” by attacking anti-government protesters with snipers, tanks and artillery. [Read More]

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