A Glimmer Of Hope For Syrian Refugees and Protestors
While an unconfirmed number of residents, activists and defected members of the Syrian military hunker down in the town of Jisr al-Shughour, Turkey has opened its borders to Syrian refugees, according to Reuters.
Most of Jisr al-Shughour’s almost 50,000 residents have fled the city, and it has been said that Syrian security forces have surrounded the town with armored vehicles.
The move on Jisr al-Shughour by Syrian security forces follows the alleged killing of 120 security personnel there.
According to human rights groups, over 1,100 civilians have been killed in Syria since March, said Reuters.
About 170 refugees have crossed the boarders from Syria to Turkey in the past day, and Turkey has been offering medical assistance to injured refugees, according to Turkey’s state-run news agency, Reuters said.
"We are monitoring developments in Syria with concern," said Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, who has long sought warm relations with Assad. "Syria should change its attitude toward civilians and should take its attitude to a more tolerant level.
"It is out of the question for Turkey to close its doors to refugees coming from Syria."
The town of Jisr al-Shughour is in the northwest of Syria and is not far from the Mediterranean Sea or the Turkish border and the Turkish city of Antioch.
From the Wall Street Journal:
"On Wednesday, residents of Jisr al-Shoghour said armored vehicles surrounded the town from four spots, stopping at about 40 kilometers (25 miles) away. The residents, young activists who say they are among just a few thousand left in the town, have waited warily for almost 48 hours after the government vowed a military reprisal against the town to root out armed terrorists. They say they have helped evacuate families and are hiding defected soldiers, who are preparing to fight the army, in homes.
"The two, conflicting narratives of Syria's uprising since its start—from the government and from protesters—came to head in Jisr al-Shoghour on Monday. Syria's government said armed and trained terrorist groups conducted an ambush of police and security forces that eventually killed 120 of them. Residents of the town said the reported casualties were a result of infighting between security forces the previous day."
In addition to the support being offered to Syrian refugees by the Turkish government, British Prime Minister David Cameron has confirmed that Britain, in conjunction with several other European members of the United Nations are calling for the UN to condemn the violence in Syria and begin demanding accountability from the Middle-Eastern state.
From Al Jazeera:
"European powers are increasing pressure on the UN Security Council to break its silence on events in Syria following a bloody government crackdown on pro-democracy protests in the country.
"Britain, France, Germany and Portugal have circulated a draft resolution that would condemn the crackdown and demand an immediate end to the violence in Syria.
"However, the proposal falls short of calling for military action or further UN sanctions against the Syrian government."
While the fate of Sryia’s government is debated on the stage of global politics, many Syrian citizens continue to live in fear for their lives and homes.
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