Displaced Syrians fleeing their war-torn country head en masse to Turkey, the country's northern neighbor. Yesterday, some 2,500 Syrians arrived on the border that divides Syria and the Turkish town of Akçakale in the province of Şanlıurfa.
The rise in the number of internally displaced Syrians seeking to cross into Turkey since last week has slowed their admission process. A large crowd anxiously waiting behind a barbed wire fence in Akçakale's Zenginova neighborhood has yet to be admitted as the news went to print. Turkish troops on the border handed out food and water to the refugees, including children, who were waiting under the scorching sun. Nearly 3,600 Syrians took shelter in Turkey since the conflict in al-Hasakah, a northern Syrian city, escalated. Al-Hasakah, partly controlled by Kurdish militant groups and the Syrian regime, was the scene of a brutal clash between Kurdish groups and the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) in recent days as well as air raids on ISIS positions. Turkey pursues an open-door policy for desperate Syrians but all refugees undergo a biometric registration process and health check before admission into the country, which already houses some 1.8 million people from its conflict-ridden neighbor.
Yesterday's influx was tied to an increase in air raids that razed the village to the ground, according to locals who fled into Turkey with the few possessions they could carry.