Conflict & Justice

Syrian refugees in record numbers flood Turkey; 9,000 in 24 hours

After a surge of refugees fled into Turkey over the last day, the United Nations estimates more than 408,000 Syrians are now displaced.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees told reporters that 9,000 Syrians escaped to Turkey, 1,000 to Lebanon and 1,000 to Jordan in the last 24 hours.

“It just indicates a significant crisis, the continuation of the conflict,” Panos Moumtzis said after a Syria Humanitarian Forum in Geneva.

“In Turkey, we know from most refugees that they come from Aleppo or Idlib or northern areas. That has been the trend so far,” he added, according to Reuters.

Among them are children and the wounded, with some climbing fences topped with razor wire along the borders, The Associated Press reported.

Normally, the UN records between 2,000 and 3,000 refugees each day, Moumtzis said.

More from GlobalPost: Syrian mortars fired into Golan Heights, Israel says

Unless fighting ends soon, the UN said the number of people inside Syria desperate for help will nearly double to 4 million early next year from 2.5 million now, the AP reported.

Also, at this pace, the UN said it expects 700,000 Syrians to seek refuge in neighboring nations by 2013.

“People need to be aware of just how desperate the situation is inside Syria for the people there, how unbearable it is, and how they are suffering and falling into ever deeper despair and humanitarian need,” John Ging, a UN humanitarian office director, told the AP.

Military leaders, officers and their families also arrived in Turkey today, the Anadolu Agency reported.

It said two generals, 11 colonels and 13 other Syrian soldiers – along with 71 family members – made it into Turkey.

They group is being held in a special camp for military defectors.

More from GlobalPost: Red Cross ‘can’t cope’ with Syrian crisis