Russian, Syrian regime attacks force 70,000 out of Aleppo

70,000 people flee Syrian regime and Russian attacks on Syria’s Aleppo, as Turkey expects new wave of 600,000 refugees at its border in 'worst case scenario'

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Syrians fleeing the attacks of Syrian and Russian air forces, seen at the Bab al-Salameh border crossing on Turkish-Syrian border near Azaz town of Aleppo, Syria on February 08, 2016

Updated Feb 10, 2016

Russian air strikes and Syrian regime attacks have forced around 70,000 Syrians to desert their homes in the northern city of Aleppo, Anadolu Agency (AA) reported citing local sources. 

Around 40,000 people have fled their villages in Aleppo after intensive Russian raids and moved toward the northwestern town of Azaz by the Turkish border, the sources said. 

More than 30,000 Syrians have also fled their homes in Aleppo's western countryside, fearing attacks by Russian warplanes and regime forces.

Observers believe that Damascus and Moscow are seeking to impose a blockade on the city.

On Monday, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said there was a possibility that a new wave of refugees would soon arrive at the Turkish border.

“It is estimated that a wave of 600,000 refugees may come to the Turkish border soon in a worst case scenario,” he said during a press conference.

“Our first goal is to host these refugees outside of Turkey.”

He added that some 77,000 Syrians, including those who arrived recently, are being given assistance in displaced persons camps in Syria along the border with Turkey.

Syrians who flee the attacks of Syrian and Russian air forces, keep warm around the fire as they shelter at tents at a refugee camp at the Bab al-Salameh border crossing on Turkish-Syrian border near Azaz town of Aleppo, Syria on February 08, 2016 [AA]

Tens of thousands of Syrians have been coming to the Turkish border north of Aleppo since Thursday, as the regime and its allies are making gains in Aleppo's northern countryside cutting opposition supply lines to Turkey.

Russia launched an air campaign in Syria on September 30, announcing that its air strikes there were aimed at combating the DAESH terror group in order to support its close ally, Syrian regime leader Bashar al Assad.

However, the Western powers and Turkey have consistently criticised Moscow of targeting opposition forces and civilians rather than DAESH, as rights groups have accused the country of committing war crimes.

According to the monitoring group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), nearly 1,400 civilians have been killed in Syria by Russian air strikes since September 2015.

On Monday, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Turkey will admit those who have amassed at the border "when necessary," adding Russia's air assault should not be tolerated with the idea that Turkey will accept the refugees.

Turkey already shelters more than 2.5 million Syrian refugees.

TRTWorld and agencies