More than 1,300 Syrians, including general, flee to Turkey

August 7, 2012 12:15


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REYHANLI, Turkey - A Syrian brigadier-general was among more than 1,300 refugees who fled to Turkey to escape escalating violence in Syria overnight, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.

Another 11 military officers were also among the arrivals, bringing the number of Syrian refugees in Turkey to 47,500 people, the ministry said on Twitter.

The latest numbers compared with 44,000 Syrian refugees in Turkey at the end of July.

"These numbers, along with the numbers of those seeking shelter in other countries, show how dire the situation in Syria is," the ministry said.

Turkish officials are concerned about a possible flood of refugees from Syria's biggest city Aleppo as President Bashar Assad's forces use warplanes and artillery to pound rebel fighters there.

The 17-month uprising against Assad's rule in Syria has created a refugee crisis in Turkey and other neighboring countries. Opposition sources say at least 18,000 people have been killed since the revolt began in March 2011.

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