Some 10,000 Syrian refugees fleeing the fighting are blocked for a week at the Turkish border. The influx could accelerate due to bombardment of Azaz town, located three kilometers from the border , reported anti-regime activists.
According to a Reuters report, Syrian fighter aircraft bombarded the town Monday morning. Azaz, which is held by rebels, has become the target of ariel bombardments by aircraft from a nearby military airfield. Half of its 70,000 residents have already fled.
“We have not stopped absorbing the Syrians but operations are slowed due to concerns about safety,” admitted an official at the Turkish agency responsible for emergency situations (AFAD). “We try to deliver aid to those near the border. On Saturday, the number of refugees on the border amounted to 7000-8000,” he said.
Turkey is already the home to more than 80,000 Syrians fleeing violence in their country since the beginning of March 2011. The Office of the United Nations for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates that this figure could one day reach 200,000. The International Committee of the Red Cross said Monday that its new chairman, Peter Maurer, was on his way to Damascus, where he will meet President Bashar al-Assad.
Meanwhile, a series of air raids on Monday killed at least 14 people in Aleppo and 18 others in the nearby town of al-Bab, according the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR).
On Friday, a series of air raids on al-Bab killed 12 people.
Syrian official SANA news agency reported on its part that the “courageous armed forces continued to hunt down terrorists, who suffered heavy losses” in the province of Aleppo. Large quantities of weapons and ammunition were seized, and the army also “destroyed trucks equipped with heavy weapons in Kafr al-Hamra, at the northern entrance of Aleppo,” said the agency.
On Sunday, the violence left at least 132 dead across the country.