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Pro-Assad Advances Push Thousands Of Syrians Into Turkey

More than 3,000 Syrians fled to Turkey in three days.

02/02/2016 6:56 AM AEDT | Updated 02/02/2016 6:56 AM AEDT
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Advances by Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime have caused thousands of civilians to seek refuge in neighboring Turkey.

Thousands of refugees, among them many ethnic Turkmens, have fled their homes in Syria and poured into Turkey in recent days as fighting between pro-government and rebel forces has escalated. 

The refugee stream intensified last week, when Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime captured Rabiya, a key opposition-held town in Latakia province.

More than 3,000 Syrian civilians fearing the advancing troops, as well as the aerial attacks by Russian jets supporting Assad's troops, have sought shelter across the border in just a matter of days, Reuters reported on Monday. 

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Many of the refugees are women, children and elderly civilians.

Turkish disaster agency AFAD, which coordinated the border crossings, said in a statement that groups of mainly women and children have entered the town of Yayladagi in southern Turkey from Syria's Bayirbucak region.  

Syria Deeply reported last week that fighting and heavy bombardments in northern Syria had displaced more than 20,000 Turkmens since November, but that many of them were stuck inside squalid camps alongside the Turkey-Syria border because border crossings with Turkey were mostly closed. 

Fatih Aktas/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
Syrian government troops are backed by Russian airstrikes, which have killed nearly 1,400 civilians in recent months.

United Nations-backed talks to find an end to the conflict in Syria began on Friday in Geneva and are scheduled to last for six months, but critics are doubtful the talks will end the five-year civil war.

The images below show Turkmen and Arab families who have fled their homes to escape pro-Assad forces and Russian airstrikes. 

Fatih Aktas/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
More than 3,000 Syrian refugees entered Turkey in the final days of January, according to Turkish disaster agency AFAD.
Fatih Aktas/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
The influx of Syrian refugees increased after Assad's regime captured Rabiya, a key opposition-held town in Syria's Latakia province, on Jan. 24.
Fatih Aktas/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
Groups of refugees were transported across the Syrian-Turkish border in buses.
Fatih Aktas/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
Heavy fighting and bombardments in northern Syria have displaced more than 20,000 Turkmens since November. 
Fatih Aktas/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
United Nations-backed Syrian peace talks began on Friday in Geneva.
Fatih Aktas/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
World leaders will spend six months trying to find a peaceful solution to end Syria's civil war.

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