Syrian refugees continue to flee across the Turkish border to escape violence, as world powers amplify their outrage over the Damascus regime's tough crackdown on peaceful demonstrators.
The number of Syrian refugees now in Turkey stands at 8,904, Turkish emergency officials said on Thursday. This increase comes as the government of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan met with a special Syrian envoy to help stem the growing tide of refugees.
Violence in the country and an offensive in and around the town of Jisr al-Shugur spurred thousands to hightail it to the border region, and Turkish officials are worried that the crisis could deteriorate and destabilize the area.
On Wednesday, the U.N. human rights office called for "a thorough probe into the allegations of widespread abuses committed by Syrian authorities during their violent crackdown."
"The most egregious reports concern the use of live ammunition against unarmed civilians, including from snipers positioned on rooftops of public buildings, and the deployment of tanks in areas densely populated by civilians," according to a preliminary report prepared by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.
"As of mid-June, the number of those killed during such incidents is believed to have exceeded 1,100 persons, many of them unarmed civilians; among them were women and children," it said, according to a U.N. statement.
The OHCHR said reports indicate than up to 10,000 people have been detained over three months, and it has received information that security forces "have perpetrated acts of torture and other cruel and inhuman treatment against detainees, resulting in death in custody in some cases."FULL STORY