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

  • Smoker arrested after yelling death threats on plane

    World News CTV News
    SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Officials say a woman caught trying to smoke on a Southwest flight has been arrested after shouting she was going to kill everyone on the plane. Sacramento County sheriff's spokesman Shaun Hampton said Monday that 24-year-old Valerie Curbelo was arrested on the tarmac when the plane landed Saturday. Source
  • Toronto library board revising room-booking policy after controversial memorial

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO - The Toronto Public Library board voted Monday evening in favour of changing its rental policy following a controversial memorial at a west-end branch this summer. The memorial was held in July for Barbara Kulaszka, a lawyer whose clients included Marc Lemire, the leader of the now-disbanded white supremacy group Heritage Front. Source
  • Alabama foes make final push before big Senate vote

    World News CTV News
    BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Facing voters at last after the year's most bitter U.S. campaign, Alabama Republican Roy Moore cast himself Monday as the victim of a national barrage of unjust allegations of sexual misconduct with teenagers. Source
  • Six-year-old boy's quick thinking helps save diabetic mother's life

    Canada News CTV News
    A vigilant six-year-old boy is being heralded by his community with a “Citizen Life-Saving Award” for quick-thinking that helped save his mother’s life. Denise McCormack was at home with her son Ronan Male when she slipped into a diabetic coma in May. Source
  • Alabama foes get in final licks before Tuesday's big vote

    World News CBC News
    Facing voters after the year's most bitter U.S. campaign, Alabama Republican Roy Moore cast himself Monday as the victim of a national barrage of unjust allegations of sexual misconduct with teenagers. Rival Doug Jones, hoping to become the state's first Democratic senator in two decades, declared their race was Alabama's referendum on "who we are and what we're going to tell our daughters. Source
  • Republican Moore embraces Trump message on eve of Alabama election

    World News CBC News
    Facing voters after the year's most bitter U.S. campaign, Alabama Republican Roy Moore cast himself Monday as the victim of a national barrage of unjust allegations of sexual misconduct with teenagers. Rival Doug Jones, hoping to become the state's first Democratic senator in two decades, declared their race was Alabama's referendum on "who we are and what we're going to tell our daughters. Source
  • New Yorker fires reporter Ryan Lizza over alleged sexual misconduct

    World News CBC News
    The New Yorker magazine said Monday it has cut ties with well-known political reporter Ryan Lizza for alleged sexual misconduct. The magazine recently learned Lizza had "engaged in what we believe was improper sexual conduct," a spokeswoman said. Source
  • Mexican journalist in U.S. fears he'll be killed if deported

    World News CTV News
    HOUSTON -- Advocates for a Mexican journalist detained in a remote West Texas facility asked the U.S. government on Monday to grant him asylum instead of deporting him to a country where he believes he'll be killed. Source
  • N.L. man who attacked girlfriend with coat hanger gets discharge

    Canada News CTV News
    A 20-year-old man who was found guilty of attacking his ex-girlfriend has been granted a discharge after his lawyer argued a criminal record would “hamper his plans” for the future. Judge Lori Marshall granted Lancelot Saunders an absolute discharge after Saunders’s lawyer said the man had plans to attend Memorial University. Source
  • Edmonton boy, 6, awarded for quick thinking that saved his mother's life

    Canada News CBC News
    When six-year-old Ronan Male saw his mother collapse in their Edmonton home last spring, he knew exactly what to do. Denise McCormack has managed her diabetes for 30 years. That night, her blood sugars fell dangerously low and she fell out of bed. Source