In 4 Days, 130K Syrians Flee ISIS

They seek refuge in Turkey
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 22, 2014 7:17 AM CDT
In 4 Days, 130K Syrians Flee ISIS
Turkish soldiers line up as several hundred Syrian refugees wait to cross into Turkey at the border in Suruc, Turkey, on Sept. 21, 2014.   (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)

Up until the middle of last week, Turkey put the number of Syrian refugees within its borders at more than a million. That number has swelled by 130,000 in the last four days, according to Turkey's deputy PM. It's not just the sheer number of refugees that's noteworthy: They're mainly Kurds, and as the BBC reports, many are "deeply hostile" to Turkey. And since Thursday, they've been pouring into the country in an attempt to flee ISIS militants who have, as the AP puts it, "pushed the conflict nearly within eyeshot of the Turkish border." The current conflict centers around the town of Kobani, which ISIS attempted to take in July, reports Reuters.

That attempt was quelled with the help of Kurds who entered Syria from Turkey, and there were skirmishes on the Turkish side of the border yesterday as the country tried to prevent Kurds from flowing into Syria once again. As BBC correspondent Mark Lowen explains, there's a fear that the Kurdistan Workers' Party, which for decades battled for autonomy for Kurds inside Turkey, could team up with a beefed-up Syrian Kurdish militia and once again take up arms within Turkey. For now, the Syrian Kurdish fighters are said to have halted an ISIS advance on Kobani from the east, according to a rep for the Kurdish group, who says that's the front where the most intense fighting is taking place. (More ISIS stories.)

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