MESOP Syria Daily: 10,000s of Refugees Trapped at Turkey Border

5 Feb 2016 – Scott Lucas – eaworldview – Fleeing the regime-Russian-Hezbollah offensive in northern Aleppo Province, up to 70,000 Syrians are trapped near the Turkish border.

Syria’s latest refugee crisis was spurred earlier this week when the offensive — led by Hezbollah and the Syrian Army’s 4th Mechanized Division and supported by intense Russian airstrikes and Iranian-commanded foreign militias — reached the regime enclaves of Nubl and al-Zahraa. Residents of opposition-held villages fled capture, bombardment, or the threat of siege, travelling on foot for up to 50 miles to the Turkish border. There is also growing fear inside the opposition sections of Aleppo city, Syria’s largest, that they will be cut off if the offensive closes the supply route from the north.However, Turkey — which hosts more than 2 million Syrian refugees — closed border crossings last autumn, citing security threats. Ankara is also under pressure from other countries, notably the US, to seal the frontier to limit movement of fighters.Thousands of people were photographed last night at the shut Bab al-Salama crossing, near the town of Azaz. They remained in danger from Russian air attacks on the area.One woman was reportedly killed when she was shot in the face by Turkish forces.