Erdogan says Turkey cannot handle new migrant wave from Syria, warns Europe

Written by Reuters | Source: Reuters | December 23, 2019 01:00 AM

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey cannot handle a fresh wave of migrants from Syria, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday, warning that European countries will feel the impact of such an influx if violence in Syria’s northwest is not stopped.

Turkey currently hosts some 3.7 million Syrian refugees, the largest refugee population in the world, and fears another wave from the Idlib region, where up to 3 million Syrians live in the last significant rebel-held swathe of territory.

Syrian and Russian forces have intensified their bombardment of targets in Idlib, which Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad has vowed to recapture, prompting a wave of refugees toward Turkey.

Speaking at an awards ceremony in Istanbul on Sunday night, Erdogan said more than 80,000 people were currently on the move from Idlib to Turkey.

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