Turkish Red Crescent workers have been handing over humanitarian aid to Syrians on the border between the two countries as the plight of the refugees appeared to be getting steadily worse.
A combination of fear and hunger has driven an estimated 10,000 Syrians to shelter on the Syrian side – with a lack of food and basic needs the aid is all that’s keeping some families alive.
Another 10,000 have made it into Turkey having escaped Syria’s military crackdown.
One refugee said “the regime claims that we are terrorists and armed criminals. We are not! People here want freedom!”
But Syrian troops have now blocked roads to the Turkish frontier and reports now say troops are attacking those trying to help the refugees – the border town of Bdama has been stormed and dozens detained.
After four months of unrest President Bashar al-Assad has made only his third speech on the situation. He blamed “saboteurs” for causing the unrest and promised to pursue national dialogue on reform. Despite his clampdown on public dissent, protesters appear not to have been deterred and continue to hold rallies calling for him to go.