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.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • 'She has fun taunting me'; O.J. reportedly confessed to friend ex-wife Nicole haunts him from the afterlife

    World News Toronto Sun
    Disgraced O.J. Simpson was acquitted of the 1994 murders of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman but he’s been haunted and terrorized by her ghost ever since! Former pal Vernon Nelson told RadarOnline.com that Simpson shockingly confessed to him, “Nicole haunts me from the afterlife. Source
  • American-born Putin critic Bill Browder unable to enter U.S.

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- American lawmakers are demanding answers from their national government after a foe of Vladimir Putin, born in the United States, was allegedly denied entry into his native United States, in a case with cross-border repercussions. Source
  • Michigan teens charged with murder in highway rock incident

    World News CTV News
    FLINT, Mich. -- Five teenagers accused of throwing rocks from a Michigan highway overpass were charged with second-degree murder Monday in the death of a man killed when one of them smashed the windshield of a van in which he was riding. Source
  • Tampa neighbourhood fears serial killer after 3 killings

    World News CTV News
    TAMPA, Fla. -- Police escorted children to school Monday and a city bus changed up its usual route as a neighbourhood near downtown Tampa feared a serial killer may be on the loose. In the last two weeks, three people have been shot to death within a 1-mile (1.6-kilometre) radius in the normally quiet Seminole Heights neighbourhood. Source
  • Two moose shot, abandoned with parts missing in northwestern Ontario

    Canada News CTV News
    SIOUX LOOKOUT, Ont. -- The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry is investigating after two male moose were killed in northwestern Ontario over the last month, their noses and tongues removed but the rest of their carcasses left to rot. Source
  • Ohio woman indicted in boy's fatal drug overdose at sleepover

    World News CTV News
    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A woman has been indicted on involuntary manslaughter and child-endangering charges in the death of a 12-year-old boy who authorities say died from a fentanyl overdose during a sleepover at her Ohio apartment. Source
  • British-American Putin critic behind Magnitsky Act says U.S. visa revoked

    World News CBC News
    Republicans and Democrats are demanding answers from the U.S. government after British-American financier William Browder said his visa was revoked. Browder lobbied for a U.S. law named after his former employee, Russian whistleblower Sergei Magnitsky, that imposed travel bans and froze assets of dozens of Russian officials. Source
  • American-born Putin critic blocked from U.S. after lobbying Canada

    World News CBC News
    American lawmakers are demanding answers from their national government after a U.S.-born foe of Vladimir Putin was allegedly denied entry into the United States. Bill Browder, who is now a British citizen, had just successfully lobbied Canada to become the latest country to adopt a so-called Magnitsky law that targets corrupt officials of the Putin regime. Source
  • Firefighters hindered by unexploded ammunition at New Brunswick military base

    Canada News CTV News
    FREDERICTON -- Unexploded ammunition is hampering efforts to extinguish three fires burning at Canada's second-largest military base. Stephanie Duchesne, spokesperson for the Gagetown base in New Brunswick, says the fires are burning in an area rife with the remnants of decades of soldier training, limiting the base's ability to put out the flames. Source
  • Firefighters hindered by unexploded ammunition at N.B. military base

    Canada News CTV News
    FREDERICTON -- Unexploded ammunition is hampering efforts to extinguish three fires burning at Canada's second-largest military base. The fires have been burning for weeks at the Gagetown base in New Brunswick in an area rife with the remnants of decades of soldier training. Source