Refugees flee to Greek border from Turkey

Athens boosts borders. UN says 950,000 displaced in Idlib

28 February, 13:30

    (ANSAmed) - ISTANBUL, FEBRUARY 28 - The first groups of a few dozen refugees are walking from Turkey to the Greek border after Ankara last night announced the decision to open its border in response to what it has denounced as a lack of western support in Idlib against Syrian government forces, according to local broadcasters. The television channels showed footage of people, including women and children, walking.

    According to the agency Dogan, about 300 Syrian, Iraqi and Iranian migrants reached the Turkish border province of Edirne on Friday morning. They are allegedly not allowed at the moment to go through the official border crossing of Pazarkule, but witnesses have said that migrants are now allowed to go through rural areas and the Evros river, a natural border between Turkey and Greece.

    Television footage also showed several buses and other vehicles organized in Istanbul carrying group of migrants to the border, some 250 km away.

    According to sources in Ankara, border police have been told to ignore the passage of refugees. Coast guards have also been allegedly told not to stop boats sailing towards the Greek islands.

    - Greece has announced that it will boost controls at the border with Turkey after Ankara announced the intention of letting migrants travel to Europe.

    - A reported 950,000 Syrian civilians have been displaced in the northwestern region of Idlib, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), in its latest update on the situation in the war-torn region at the center of a Russian-government offensive. OCHA added that some 948,000 have been displaced since December 1, including 569,000 minors and 195,000 women. Women and children make up for 81% of the entire community of displaced Syrians in Idlib. (ANSAmed).

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