Syrian refugees wave the Free Syrian flags at the Yayladagi refugee camp in Antakya -- on the Turkish-Syrian border
Syrian refugees wave the Free Syrian flags at the Yayladagi refugee camp in Antakya -- on the Turkish-Syrian border -- in April 2012. The number of Syrian refugees registered in Turkey has topped 30,000, a Turkish foreign ministry official has told AFP. © Bulent Kilic - AFP/File
Syrian refugees wave the Free Syrian flags at the Yayladagi refugee camp in Antakya -- on the Turkish-Syrian border
AFP
Last updated: June 15, 2012

Turkey says Syrian refugee numbers exceed 30,000

The number of Syrian refugees registered in Turkey has topped 30,000, a Turkish foreign ministry official told AFP on Friday.

"Four hundred more Syrians crossed into Turkey on Thursday, bringing the total number to 30,800," said the official, who wished to remain anonymous.

The refugees are accommodated in Turkish Red Crescent camps in the southeastern provinces of Hatay, Gaziantep, Sanliurfa and Kilis along the Syrian border.

The influx of refugees comes as violence continues in Syria, particularly in northwestern villages close to the border.

Turkish President Abdullah Gul told reporters on Friday that "Unfortunately the (current) situation is the worst in Syria," adding that the peace plan proposed by international mediator Kofi Annan appeared to have been sidelined by the regime.

Turkey's government has repeatedly accused Damascus of playing for time by using Annan's peace plan as a pretext.

World powers are groping to find a way to end the bloodshed in Syria with the toll growing daily despite the ceasefire that should have gone into effect from April 12, and there are reports of children being used as human shields.

Monitoring groups say at least 14,400 people have been killed in the 15-month uprising against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, and UN peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous said this week he believed Syria was now in a civil war.

Turkey, once a strong ally of Syria, broke with Damascus after Assad's regime began cracking down on dissent in March last year.

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