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Tags: ML | Syria | The | Latest

The Latest: Turkey Criticizes UN Handling of Refugee Crisis

The Latest: Turkey Criticizes UN Handling of Refugee Crisis

Wednesday, 10 February 2016 09:31 AM

BEIRUT (AP) — The Latest developments on the war in Syria and the tens of thousands of Syrians fleeing violence (all times local):

2:25 p.m.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has fired back at the United Nations for demanding that Turkey open its border to tens of thousands of more Syrian refugees, accusing the world body of being ineffective over the refugee crisis and of not shouldering the burden like Turkey.

A Russian-backed Syrian government offensive around the Syrian city of Aleppo has sent tens of thousands of people fleeing to the Turkish border in recent days. Turkey, already home to 2.5 million Syrian refugees, is also providing assistance to the new refugees on the Syrian side of the border. But it has not let them in, prompting UNHCR on Tuesday to call on Turkey to admit them.

Erdogan responded Wednesday by saying the U.N. had not assisted Turkey sufficiently.

He says of the world body "What is your use? ... how many refugees have you taken in?"

1:50 p.m.

Opposition activists and a rebel commander say Kurdish fighters have launched an offensive in northern Syria to attempt to capture a rebel-held military air base.

Maj. Yasser Abdul-Rahim, a rebel commander in the northern province of Aleppo, told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the main Kurdish militia, known as YPG, is clashing with rebels near Mannagh air base.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says YPG fighters are trying to capture a former Syrian army air base that was lost to the opposition in August 2013.

The YPG has received backing from airstrikes launched by Russia, a longtime ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Syrian troops have been on the offensive in Aleppo province for nearly two weeks in an attempt to besiege rebel-held parts of the provincial capital of Aleppo, Syria's largest city and once commercial center.

Troops have captured dozens of villages in the area.

12:50 p.m.

Turkey's state-run agency says military officials have stopped a group of 34 people at the border with Syria and seized luggage containing four suicide vests and explosives.

Anadolu Agency, citing unnamed security sources Wednesday, said four men, 10 women and 20 children were stopped near the town of Oguzeli, in Gaziantep province. It wasn't clear when they were detained, but Anadolu said that security forces had acted on a tip about plans to smuggle explosives across the border.

The luggage contained up to 15 kilograms (33 pounds) of explosives.

There was no information on the nationalities of those detained. The report didn't say whether authorities believe the group may be linked to the Islamic State group.

Anadolu said an investigation was underway.

11:20 a.m.

Syria's state news agency SANA says opposition gunmen have opened fire on aid vehicles in the besieged rebel-held town of Madaya, near the capital Damascus, but no casualties were reported.

A SARQ official said on Wednesday that the convoy, which included vehicles from the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, was evacuating sick people from Madaya when it came under fire by unknown gunmen.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations, said the operation had been completed and people successfully evacuated.

Madaya, which has been besieged by government and allied militiamen for months, gained international attention after harrowing pictures emerged showing emaciated children and starving residents.

SANA said the shooting occurred late Tuesday night delaying operations for several hours.

© Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


MiddleEast
The Latest developments on the war in Syria and the tens of thousands of Syrians fleeing violence (all times local):2:25 p.m.Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has fired back at the United Nations for demanding that Turkey open its border to tens of thousands of more...
ML,Syria,The,Latest
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2016-31-10
Wednesday, 10 February 2016 09:31 AM
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