HRW calls on Turkey to open its border for Syrian refugees

Turkey should open its border for thousands of Syrian refugees who stranded on border, Human Rights Watch says

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

Syrians fleeing the northern embattled city of Aleppo wait at the Bab al Salama crossing on the border between Syria and Turkey, on February 5, 2016.

Turkey should immediately allow Syrian refugees to cross the Turkish border, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said on Thursday.

Thousands of people have escaped from the attacks carried out by both DAESH and Russian backed-Syrian regime.

Large areas of Syria right across the Turkish border are controlled by the DAESH terrorist group.

HRW said in a statement at least 30,000 civilians have been displaced within two days during the ongoing clashes in northern Aleppo between opposition groups and DAESH.

“They have fled to other camps, to the Bab al Salameh camp on the Turkish border and to the nearby town of Azaz. Three of the camps – Ikdah, Harameen and Al Sham – are now completely empty of the 24,000 people previously sheltering there,” HRW said.

Turkey has long supported a safe zone in northern Syria to preserve refugees and allow the safe humanitarian aid, however the idea is gaining little global support.

Consistently, aid trucks and ambulances enter Syria from Turkey to deliver food and supplies to tens of thousands of people fleeing an escalating regime assault on Aleppo, as air strikes targeted villages on the road north to the Turkish border.

Turkish humanitarian agencies are also setting up temporary shelters and delivering food to Syrians who have amassed at the border.

The UN estimates the death toll in Syria, since the start of the war to be at least 250,000. But the Syrian Centre for Policy Research released a report on February 10 stating that the death toll has now exceeded 470,000.

Around 5 million others have taken refuge in the neighbouring countries.

Residents of border areas in Turkey, which has the largest population of Syrian refugees with nearly 3 million people on its soil, fear of being overwhelmed by a fresh wave of arrivals.

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called on all countries to show solidarity and take in about half a million Syrian refugees for resettlement by 2018.

He added that "the world must step up" and that all countries can do more.