More than 1,600 Syrian refugees flee to Turkey in days

Some 1,650 refugees arrived in Turkey from Syria over the past two days, including about 1,000 who crossed the border over the past 24 hours, Turkish media reported on Thursday quoting diplomatic sources.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday that Turkey would not “close the doors” for those fleeing violence in neighboring Syria and called on Damascus not to use force against civilians.

The unrest in Syria has claimed more than 1,000 lives as clashes between protesters demanding the resignation of President Bashar al-Assad and his supporters have been raging in the country for the third month. More than 10,000 people have been arrested by Syrian security forces since the beginning of the unrest, according to local human rights organizations.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay called on the Syrian authorities on Thursday to stop violating the rights and freedoms of the Syrian people.

“It is utterly deplorable for any government to attempt to bludgeon its population into submission, using tanks, artillery and snipers,” she said in a statement. “I urge the Government to halt this assault on its own people’s most fundamental human rights.”

Four European countries (France, Britain, Germany and Portugal) put forward a UN Security Council draft resolution on Wednesday condemning Assad’s crackdown on protesters. Britain said a vote on the resolution would take place in the next few days.


MOSCOW, June 9 (RIA Novosti)

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