250,000 migrants fleeing from Syria's Idlib towards Turkey: Tayyip Erdogan

Reuters Idlib, Idlib, Syria Jan 02, 2020, 04.19 PM(IST)

File Photo: Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan Photograph:( Reuters )

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Turkey hosts some 3.7 million Syrian refugees, the largest refugee population in the world.

President Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday (January 2) that up to 250,000 migrants were fleeing from the northwestern Syrian region of Idlib towards Turkey, adding that Ankara was trying to prevent them from crossing its border.

Also read: Erdogan says 2-3 million Syrian refugees in Turkey, Europe can be resettled in 'safe zone'

Turkey hosts some 3.7 million Syrian refugees, the largest refugee population in the world. It fears a new wave from Idlib, where up to 3 million Syrians live in the last rebel-held swathe of territory after Russian and Syrian government forces last month intensified their bombardment of targets in the region.

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"Right now, 200,000 to 250,000 migrants are moving towards our borders. We are trying to prevent them with some measures, but it's not easy," Erdogan told a conference in Ankara.

The United Nations last week said 235,000 civilians had fled their homes in just two weeks between Dec 12 and 25. 

The Russian-led campaign that started in April 2019 had already forced at least 500,000 people to leave for areas closer to the border with Turkey, which Russian jets rarely hit.