15 Jun 2015

Syrians flee fighting, pour into Turkey

3:43 pm on 15 June 2015

Thousands of Syrian refugees have poured into Turkey to escape a battle between Kurds and Islamic State (IS) jihadists for the Syrian town of Tal Abyad.

A man carries a girl as Syrians fleeing the war pass through broken down border fences to enter Turkish territory.

A man carries a girl as Syrians fleeing the war pass through broken down border fences to enter Turkish territory. Photo: AFP

There had earlier been chaotic scenes as the Turkish army used water cannon and tear gas to stop some of the refugees crossing the border illegally through holes in fences.

Turkey had said it would let the Syrians into the country only in the event of a humanitarian tragedy.

But local officials said Ankara had now decided to allow the refugees in.

The decision came as Kurdish forces advanced on Tal Abyad, which is controlled by IS.

Turkey has taken in 1.8 million Syrian refugees since the conflict in Syria erupted in 2011.

But the Turkish government has recently grown increasingly frustrated that it has been left to shoulder the burden of refugees while the West stands by.

- AAP

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