Turkey opens border to Syrian refugees fleeing Tal Abyad

Published June 14th, 2015 - 05:20 GMT
Syrians fleeing the war pass through border fences to enter Turkish territory illegally, near the Turkish border crossing at Akcakale in Sanliurfa province on June 14, 2015. (AFP/Bulent Kilic)
Syrians fleeing the war pass through border fences to enter Turkish territory illegally, near the Turkish border crossing at Akcakale in Sanliurfa province on June 14, 2015. (AFP/Bulent Kilic)

The thousands of Syrian refugees waiting to cross the Turkish border finally started trickling in early Sunday evening as Turkey reopened its border with Syria several days after having closed it, an AFP photographer reported.

Refugees began amassing at the border crossing as Kurdish forces advanced on the Daesh-held area of Tal Abyad in northern Syria earlier this week.

Turkey had closed the border crossing following the Kurdish offensive, saying that it would only reopen to refugees in the event of a humanitarian tragedy.

Amid the chaos at the border crossing, Syrians managed to push through the border fences away from the actual crossing to cross illegally into Turkey. The Turkish army responded with a water cannon and tear gas to control the crowd, AFP reported.

AFP added that Turkish authorities reopened the border early Sunday evening, and the refugees began to cross in an orderly fashion.

Turkish officials said before the closure last week that Turkey had already taken in over 13,500 refugees escaping the violence in Tal Abyad, AFP reported.


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