Turkey shut down two border crossings into Syria on Wednesday as a precaution while fighting in Aleppo becomes worse, according to Turkish officials. Military personnel at the border crossings at the towns of Cilvegozu and Oncupinar, in the Hatay province of Turkey, are prohibiting people and vehicles from going Syria. Although those from Turkey cannot cross into Syria, passport-holding Syrians can travel back into Syria.
Turkey opened its borders four years ago at the start of Syria’s violent civil war. Though, in recent months, the refugee policy has comes under scrutiny for not doing enough to stop foreign fighters from crossing into the country and joining Islamic state-affiliated terrorist organizations.
Aleppo, a northern city in Syria, only 30 miles south of the Turkish border, is divided between Islamic militant groups and government forces. The rebel groups are fighting to oust President Bashar al-Assad in a long-term battle that has killed over 200,000 people. Last Wednesday, scores of people were killed when militants, using both bombing attacks and a ground assault, attacked a Syrian government complex.
By Alex Lemieux
Photo by seyr-ü zafer – Flickr License