This content is not available in your region

Thousands head to Turkey to flee Syria fighting

Thousands head to Turkey to flee Syria fighting
Text size Aa Aa

A series of deadly explosions have marked a year since the Syrian uprising began.

Unverifiable video uploaded to social media websites appear to show heavy shelling took place in Hama, Homs and Idlib.

The Free Syria Army says its been partially successful in attacking Baath Party headquarters in Maraat Numan. Fierce clashes are also said to have taken place in several other cities.

What is clear, however, is that thousands are trying to escape the clashes. Despite reports that Syrian authorities have laid mines along its borders, more than a thousand people crossed into Turkey over the last 24 hours, raising the total to 14,000.

Ankara set up a buffer zone along its frontier with Iraq during the first Gulf War and some refugees are urging it to do the same again to save lives.

“We’re all Syrians and every child that dies is a loss for the country,” said refugee Mustafa Faida.

But others are calling for anti-government forces to be armed and given international protection: “We want weapons, that the most important thing, and a buffer zone,” said Mohammed Gazzam.

The United Nations says nearly a quarter of a million Syrians have been displaced from their homes, including 30,000 who’ve fled abroad, raising the prospect of a regional refugee crisis.