UN urges Turkey to open border; warns Aleppo could lack aid

KILIS, Turkey -- Turkey must open its doors to the thousands of Syrians who have massed at the border after fleeing violence, the United Nations demanded Tuesday, warning that hundreds of thousands of others in Syria's largest city could be soon cut off from humanitarian aid amid blistering Syrian and Russian airstrikes.

See Full Article

Turkey, already home to 2.5 million Syrian refugees, insists that it has an open-door policy toward Syrians escaping conflict but has still kept a key border crossing closed for days. Government officials say the country will provide assistance to the displaced Syrians within their own borders "as much as possible" and would allow them in "when necessary."

The UN humanitarian office OCHA said some 300,000 people could be cut off from aid if Syrian government and allied forces encircle the city of Aleppo and deprive those fleeing from their last way out. OCHA said local leaders believe up to 150,000 people could try to flee to nearby Afrin and the surrounding countryside.

Separately, UNHCR spokesman William Spindler asked Turkey to open the border to "all civilians who are fleeing danger and seeking international protection as they have done since the start of this crisis."

Spindler also urged other nations to shoulder the refugee burden and to work to end the conflict.

"At the end of the day, the answer to this crisis is for the peace process to continue in Syria and for the conflict to be solved," Spindler said.

On Tuesday, several aid trucks could be seen moving through Turkey's Oncupinar border crossing, opposite the Bab al-Salameh gate in Syria, which remained shut to refugees for the fifth straight day. Turkish authorities and charities are assisting the Syrians at a displaced persons camp near the border.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said as many as 50,000 people had reached the border, trying to escape intense Russian bombings around Aleppo. He estimated Tuesday that up to a million more could flee if the onslaught continues.

At a joint news conference with his Hungarian counterpart in Budapest, Cavusoglu said Turkey was admitting refugees in "in a controlled manner" and that 10,000 Syrians had been allowed in recently. He did not elaborate, however, and it was not clear if he was referring to the thousands of Syrian Turkmens who were admitted into Turkey earlier this month.

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, meanwhile, called on world nations to speak out against Russia for "mercilessly bombing civilian targets" in Syria. He predicted that Russia would eventually retreat from Syria in "embarrassment" -- in a similar manner to the Soviet forces who once left Afghanistan in defeat.

"Those ... who turned Syria into a bloodbath will certainly pay for it one day," Davutoglu said.

The UN's World Food Program said Tuesday it has begun shipping lentils, pasta, beans, vegetable oil, wheat flour, sugar and other items to the town of Azaz northwest of Aleppo, near the border with Turkey, and hopes to continue in coming days.

"We are extremely concerned, as access and supply routes from the north to eastern Aleppo city and surrounding areas are now cut off," said Jakob Kern, the WFP country director for Syria. "But we are making every effort to get enough food in place for all those in need, bringing it in through the remaining open border crossing point from Turkey."

Calling the situation "quite volatile," Kern called on all sides to allow "unimpeded access" to the areas.

The war in Syria against President Bashar Assad's government began in 2011. It has killed over 250,000 people and forced millions to flee their homes.


Latest Canada & World News

  • Looking past Trump, Clinton aims to help other Democrats

    World News CTV News
    DURHAM, N.C. -- Newly confident and buoyant in the polls, Hillary Clinton is looking past Donald Trump while widening her mission to include helping Democrats seize the Senate and chip away at the Republican-controlled House. Source
  • Tory MP Steven Blaney joining leadership race

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    QUEBEC — Conservative MP Steven Blaney is joining the party’s leadership race. Blaney, who had already filed his nomination papers on Wednesday, made an official announcement Sunday at the annual brunch of the Conservative association in his riding of Bellechasse-Etchemins-Levis in Quebec City. Source
  • Fear and questions hang over doomed Calais migrant camp

    World News CTV News
    CALAIS, France -- Migrants prayed, plotted and played soccer together Sunday, a day before France starts clearing them by the thousands from a makeshift refugee camp that is doomed for destruction. But the scene that would pass for normal on another day at the slum-like camp in the northern port town of Calais nicknamed the "jungle" was anything but routine. Source
  • Cubs give us hope

    World News Toronto Sun
    If the Chicago Cubs can make it to the World Series, anything is possible. No curse is unbreakable, no jinx set in stone. This is hopeful news for the Leafs and the Ontario Tories. But, first, back to baseball. Source
  • Tour bus, semi crash in California [Photos] [Video]

    World News Toronto Sun
    PALM SPRINGS, Calif. — A tour bus slammed into the back of a semi-truck on a Southern California highway early Sunday, killing 13 people and injuring at least 31 others, some critically, authorities said. The passenger bus was going much faster than the truck, but it’s not yet clear if it was speeding on Interstate 10 just north of the desert resort town of Palm Springs, California Highway Patrol Border Division Chief Jim Abele told reporters. Source
  • Stolen baby Jesus head returned after statue replacement went viral

    Canada News CTV News
    SUDBURY, Ont. -- The missing head of a statue of baby Jesus has been returned, and the bright orange clay head that replaced it has been removed. Gerard Lajeunesse, the priest at the Ste. Source
  • Man found dead, bound to bench, with ham on his butt, genitals put in tuna can

    World News Toronto Sun
    Police are trying to determine if a British man, who was found dead, with his body bound, partially naked and covered in deli meat near an airport in Spain, was the victim of a sexual attack and murder or whether his body was desecrated after he had drank himself to death, media reports. Source
  • 83 Nigerian soldiers missing after Boko Haram attack

    World News CBC News
    Senior military officers say 83 soldiers are missing after Boko Haram Islamic extremists attacked a remote base in northeastern Nigeria. Officers said the soldiers were unable to fight back because they were poorly equipped. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to give information to reporters. Source
  • Pentagon chief in Irbil for closer assessment of Mosul fight

    World News CTV News
    IRBIL, Iraq -- U.S. Defence Secretary Ash Carter visited Irbil on Sunday for a closer assessment of the fight against the Islamic State group in northern Iraq and to hear from Kurdish leaders whose forces launched a new offensive in the operation to wrest Mosul from the militants. Source
  • AT&T's $85B US bid for Time Warner sparks antitrust fears in Washington

    World News CBC News
    AT&T Inc's agreement to acquire Time Warner Inc for $85 billion US drew skepticism from both Democrats and Republicans on Sunday, making it more likely that regulators will scrutinize the effort to create a new telecommunications and media giant. Source