Aleppo fighting sends 50,000 Syrians toward Turkish border

50,000 Syrian refugees from Aleppo's northern countryside have fled to Turkish border after escalating air strikes of Russia, advances of Syrian regime forces in region cut opposition supply lines to Turkey

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

A Syrian girl rides a bus towards Turkey to the Bab Al Salam border crossing, in Darat Izza, Aleppo countryside, Syria

There are now 50,000 Syrian refugees on the move towards the Turkish border and that number could reach 1.5 million if the city of Aleppo is "completely bombed out," Turkey's Minister for EU Affairs Volkan Bozkir said on Thursday.

Bozkir made the comment in a live interview with TRT News from Bucharest, where he is on an official visit. 

About 50,000 people have fled the fighting in northern Syria, requiring urgent deliveries of food and water, some supply lines have been cut following significant advances of the Syrian regime forces backed by an intense Russian bombardment, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said on Wednesday.

The Swiss-based agency said it had delivered food for 10,000 families and water for about 10,000 people, mainly in northern areas of Aleppo province, adding that "More aid, including medicines, will be delivered in the coming days."

Aleppo is Syria's second largest city, regular water supplies have been cut, leaving residents dependent on more than 100 water distribution points set up by the ICRC, Syrian Arab Red Crescent and local water boards. 

"There is also a general shortage of fuel and electric power," the ICRC statement proclaimed. 

The Syrian regime forces and its allies were several kilometres away from the opposition-held town of Tal Rifaat, which has brought them to around 25 km (16 miles) from the Turkish border, said opposition members.

It is the closest they have come to the border in more than two-and-a-half years.

Russia's intervention, which began in late September, has tipped the balance of the war in favour of Syrian regime leader Bashar al Assad, reversing gains the opposition made last year.

Recent advances by the Syrian regime forces and allied militant groups, including Iranian forces, are further threatening to cut off opposition-held zones of Aleppo.

Opposition forces and roughly 350,000 civilians inside opposition-held parts of the city face the risk of a regime siege, a tactic employed to devastating effect against other former opposition bastions.

TRTWorld, Reuters