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60,000 Syrian refugees flee Islamic State to Turkey

Over 60,000 Syrian refugees arrived into Turkey as the Islamic State seized control of the majority of Kurdish villages and continue its progress towards the city of Ain Arab in the northern Syrian province of Aleppo.

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister, Numan Kurtulmus told reporters Saturday that “the number of Syrian Kurds who entered Turkey has exceeded 60,000” after fighting between the Islamic State militants and the Kurdish popular fighters intensified over the towns and villages along the borders, noting that some families are living under difficult humanitarian conditions.

Kurtulmus noted that the Syrian refugees have crossed into Turkey from eight border points and that Turkish authorities provided them with shelter and aid.

According to Turkish officials, thousands of Syrian refugees are still waiting to cross the border Saturday evening.

Commander of Kurdish forces, Ismet Sheikh said that nearly one hundred villages have been evacuated to protect their citizens after they turned into a battleground between Kurdish fighters and the Islamic State forces.

He explained that fierce battles are raging in the east, west and south of the city, noting that the Islamic State fighters are only twenty kilometres far from them.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the Islamic State seized control of over sixty villages near the Syrian-Turkish border during a major offensive launched by the organization two days ago, using artillery, tanks and rocket launchers.

Kurdistan President, Massoud Barzani called Saturday for international intervention to protect Kobanî, a village with Kurdish majority from the Islamic State progress and demanded to strike and eliminate IS fighters wherever they are.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Saturday that more than 300 Kurdish fighters entered Syria via Turkey to assist in fighting the Islamic State progress towards Ain Arab.

The Observatory did not mention the group to which the fighters belong, saying only that they have joined the Syrian Kurdish forces fighting the Islamic state in the town of Ain Arab.

Meanwhile, US State Department spokesman expressed his country’s concern with IS’ progress towards Ain Arab at a time when the United States prepares for air strikes against the organization in Syria and Iraq.

Europe & RussiaMiddle EastNewsSyriaTurkey
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