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Turkey denies claims it fired on fleeing Syrians

A boy arrives with women as Syrians fleeing Aleppo wait on February 6, 2016 in Bab al-Salama, near the city of Azaz, northern Syria, near the Turkish border
AFP

Ankara (AFP) – Turkey on Sunday denied claims that its military opened fire on Syrian refugees fleeing clashes between Islamic State group jihadists and rebels in northern Syria.

Human Rights Watch on Friday accused Turkish border guards of shooting at the refugees  as they approached the border in Syria’s Aleppo province. 

“As civilians flee ISIS fighters, Turkey is responding with live ammunition instead of compassion,” HRW researcher Gerry Simpson said, using an acronym for the jihadists.

The Turkish foreign ministry, however, said the allegations had “nothing to do with the reality”, adding that Turkey was hosting nearly three million Syrians who have fled the civil war in their country. 

At least 30,000 civilians have fled fighting between jihadists and rebels in northern Syria, Human Rights Watch said on Friday, calling on Turkey to open its border to them.

The Turkish foreign ministry added that thousands of Syrians had been displaced as a result of “Daesh attacks”, an Arabic acronym for IS group. 

“Our country’s aid organisations are taking necessary measures on both sides of the border to help Syrians,” it said.

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