Thursday, June 23, 2011

Syria: Refugees flee border camps as troops deploy -- Turkey forces move to border: War?


Hundreds of Syrian refugees are fleeing across the border into Turkey to escape an assault by Syrian troops in the area, witnesses say.

Tanks and snipers have entered the village of Khirbet al-Jouz - a base for makeshift refugee camps.

One group of people broke through barbed wire to cross the border close to the Turkish village of Guvecci.

More than 1,300 people are estimated to have been killed in the government crackdown on the popular uprising.

Thousands more protesters have been detained since the crackdown began in March, opposition activists say.

The recent military offensive in the north of the country forced thousands of Syrians to flee towards Turkey.

Many crossed the border, but a significant number opted to camp on the Syrian side of the border - preferring to remain on Syrian soil as long as possible.

One man said 2,130 people in his camp had fled Khirbet al-Jouz to avoid being attacked by the army, which was surrounding the numerous camps on the Syrian side of the border.

"This is a way of terrorising people," the man told BBC Arabic.

"Our group here is informing the world of what is going on inside Syria. [The authorities] don't like it, so they want to either arrest or kill these people, so that there are no more people who can follow the news from inside Syria. It is just terror for everybody." (read more)