Defense Minister Fikri Işık said Friday that Turkey alone does not have the capacity to host more refugees in the event of a fresh influx from the Iraqi city of Mosul, where an offensive against Daesh is underway.
Talking to state broadcaster TRT, Işık also said that the U.S. was keen to work with Turkey on a campaign to drive Daesh from their stronghold of Raqqa in Syria.
Minister Işık held a meeting with U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter in Ankara earlier in the day.
The European Union (EU) has many times been criticized by Ankara for their little support to address the refugees' needs.
Turkey has been applauded by the international community for taking care of Syrian refugees, and is the largest recipient of the refugees in its region. Still, the developing country faces an immense financial burden of helping its "guests," as Ankara officially calls refugees. With the war in Syria reaching its fifth year, the government is striving to reach the so-called "lost generation" of refugees.
Hosting almost half of the 4.2 million displaced Syrians in the region over the past three years; Turkey has borne the largest share of the refugee burden.
The number of Syrian refugees living in Turkey has exceeded the sum of the populations of the 15 least populated Turkish provinces.
Contributing nearly $9 billion to humanitarian aid during the ongoing Syrian crisis, Turkey's aid for Syrian refugees has been 20 times more than the aid received from international organizations, according to the Prime Ministry Disaster & Emergency Management Authority (AFAD).
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