45,000 Syrian Kurds reach Turkey to avoid IS attacks

45,000 Syrian Kurds reach Turkey to avoid IS attacks

1Ankara, Sep 20 (IANS) Some 45,000 Syrian Kurds fleeing Islamic State (IS) attacks on the border region have entered Turkey, deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said here Saturday.

The Kurds entered southeastern Turkey Friday through Sanliurfa and Gaziantep provinces.

“Turkey had been ready for an even worse-case scenario, a flow of up to 100,000 people,” Xinhua quoted Kurtulmus as saying, adding that “after Turkey opened the border gates, 45,000 Syrian Kurds entered through eight checkpoints, just across (the border) from Kobani”.

“We accommodated them in the newly-built tents near the border.”

Syrian Kurds have been massing since Thursday on the other side of the border as the IS militants seized dozens of villages in attacks as they closed in on the strategic Syrian town of Ain al-Arab, known to the Kurds as Kobani.

Turkey has accepted tens of thousands of Kurdish refugees fleeing IS assault on their villages on the other side of the Syrian border, the deputy prime minister added.

As of August, Turkey has sheltered about 1.4 million refugees from the Syrian conflict which began in 2011. A total of 220,000 of them were accommodated in 24 refugee camps set up in Turkey’s 10 provinces.

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