Friday February 28, 2020
Since the beginning of the Syria conflict, Turkey has accepted more than three and a half million refugees – and prevented them from fleeing to Europe. That is apparently over now. The Turkish side refers to the lack of support from NATO in Idlib.
According to a media report, Turkey will no longer prevent Syrian refugees from fleeing to Europe. The Turkish police, coast guard and border guards have been ordered to hold back, a senior insider told Reuters. "All refugees, including Syrians, are now allowed to join the European Union." A country alone cannot bear the burden. Turkey has accepted 3.7 million refugees from the Syrian civil war in recent years, but has repeatedly declared that it no longer has any capacity. The Turkish army supports Syrian insurgents in Idlib. (Photo: picture alliance / dpa) For weeks, Turkey and Russia have been unsuccessfully negotiating an end to the Syrian troops' offensive against the last rebel bastion in Syria. A third round on Thursday in Ankara also failed to bring an agreement. In fact, the situation in the northwest of the country threatens to escalate. According to Turkish information, at least 33 soldiers were most recently killed in an air raid on the Turkish army in the Idlib province. Ankara then asked for assistance from NATO and the international community. In retaliation, Turkey attacked positions of the Syrian government troops during the night, as Turkish communications director Fahrettin Altun said in a statement. "We call on the entire international community to fulfill its duties," it said. "Refugees can no longer keep." The spokesman for the Islamic-conservative AKP party, Ömer Celik, called for NATO to stand by Turkey , Celik formulated that Turkey could open the borders to Europe for Syrian refugees as a threat. "Our refugee policy remains the same, but we have a situation here," he said. "We can no longer keep the refugees." Turkey has allied itself with several groups of insurgents in Syria and has moved thousands of its own soldiers to the neighboring country. Syria's President Bashar al-Assad is supported by Russia. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatens a major offensive if the Syrian troops do not withdraw. Almost a million people are displaced in the province due to the fighting.