United Nations: Fearing an onslaught by the Sunni extremist group Islamic State, some 70,000 people from the Syrian border town of Kobani fled to neighbouring Turkey, said the United Nations relief Agency.
Commending Turkey for its “welcoming response” to the refugees, the UNHCR added that hundreds of thousands more embattled people are set to flee from Kobani (Ayn al-Arab), and hence stepped up the relief efforts and preparations for the mobilisation of international support to them.
“Sudden refugee influx of Syrians into Turkey. We commend Turkey on its response & we're stepping up relief, tweeted the UN agency for refugees.
Est. 70,000 Syrians have crossed into #Turkey in the last 24hrs. Preparing for possibility of hundreds of thousands more in coming days
— UN Refugee Agency (@Refugees) September 21, 2014
Responding quickly, the UN sent immediate supply of relief items, sending 20 trucks with 20,000 blankets, 10, 000 mats, 5,000 jerry cans and 2,000 plastic sheets.
The influx of refugees comes a day after Kurdish President Masoud Barzani called on the international community to help the people of Kobani where the ISIS fighters were advancing and attacking the civilians.
I urgently call on the int. community to protect people of Kobane, in Syrian Kurdistan. They r being savagely attacked by ISIS terrorists.
— Masoud Barzani (@masoud_barzani) September 19, 2014
The town of Kobani was considered relatively safe earlier, however as the ISIS advance ahead, many have been forced to seek shelter in Turkey, the UNHCR said.
The UN agency added that the Government of Turkey was constructing two relief camps with its help, for those who are not being hosted by communities and relatives.
Also, the UNHCR was preparing for an air, sea and land emergency response to offer a supply of thermal blankets, sleeping mats, kitchen sets, etc.=
Turkey opened a stretch of the frontier on Friday after Kurdish civilians fled their homes, fearing an imminent attack on the Syrian border town of Ayn al-Arab, known as Kobani in Kurdish.
After the US launched targeted air strikes on the Islamic State targets in Iraq, the extremists have shifted their focus to Syria, advancing ahead, carrying out mass executions. The IS has beheaded two American journalists and a Briton aid worker so far, posting the grisly videos online as a warning to the Western powers.
US President Barack Obama recently outlined his strategy to rein in the ISIS in Syria and has decided to extend the air strikes there too. However no strikes have been carried out in Syria so far.
The Assad regime has warned the US against any unilateral strikes in its skies.