Sunday, September 28, 2014

About 70,000 of Syrian Kurds Flee ISIL

Tens of thousands of Syrian Kurds have crossed into Turkey over the past two days, fleeing an advance by fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL), who have seized dozens of villages close to the border, the UN's refugee agency says.

By Sunday, more than 70,000 refugees had crossed the border, said the UNHCR.

Meanwhile, Kurdish forces in Turkey issued a new call to arms to defend a border town in northern Syria from advancing ISIL fighters. 

"There was bombing all around us. We were in the city and ISIL attacked us, and we ran away. We all left there in a hurry," said Feride Ibrahim, a Syrian refugee.

The refugees, who fled fighting between ISIL and Kurdish fighters, had been amassing along the border since Thursday.

Turkey opened a stretch of the frontier on Friday after Kurdish civilians fled their homes, fearing an imminent attack on the border town of Ayn al-Arab, known as Kobani in Kurdish.

ISIL's advances in northern Syria have prompted calls for help by the region's Kurds who fear an impending massacre in Kobani, which sits in a strategic position close to the Turkish border.

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