Turkish FM says 5,000 refugees cross border into Turkey

Turkey's foreign minister says 5,000 refugees have already entered Turkey, another 55,000 are on their way

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Updated Feb 7, 2016

Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told reporters as he left a meeting with EU foreign ministers in Amsterdam on Saturday that, "We have already taken in 5,000 refugees, another 50,000 to 55,000 are on their way and we cannot leave them there alone because Russian air strikes are ongoing ... They are attacking schools, hospitals and civilians."

He added that "The Russian air strikes must stop immediately. Otherwise the number of refugees will be more than 50 thousand, maybe even 70 thousand. There are approximately 3 million people living in and around Aleppo. Turkey already hosts 2.5 million of refugees. If 2 million more comes that makes 4.5 million of refugees inside Turkey. Turkey cannot handle this burden on its own." 

He also said Turkey is still keeping its open border policy for people fleeing Syria.

Thousands of Syrians have been flocking to the Turkish border north of Aleppo since Thursday, following heavy Russian air strikes and reports that Syrian regime forces and their allies have been making gains in Aleppo's northern countryside.

More to follow

TRTWorld, Reuters