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Aleppo offensive sparks new refugee crisis

Tuesday, February 09, 2016 - 01:26

World powers are warning of another humanitarian disaster and blaming Russia as the Syrian army gains ground in and around Aleppo. Nathan Frandino reports.

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With the Syrian army gaining ground in the divided city of Aleppo, and thousands fleeing their advance, the United Nations is sounding the alarm. World Food Programme spokesperson Bettina Luescher says she fears a humanitarian disaster. (SOUNDBITE) (English) WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME (WFP) SPOKESPERSON, BETTINA LUESCHER, SAYING: "We are worried about access and supply routes from the north to eastern Aleppo that have been cut off. We are making every effort to get food to the people." The U.N. says the Syrian offensive in Aleppo -- backed by Russian air strikes -- is triggering a potential tidal wave of refugees. Tens of thousands are now camped out on the Syrian side of the Turkish border, waiting for permission to cross. But the border remains closed, although Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davuloglu says that may not be the case for much longer. UNDBITE) (Turkish) TURKISH PRIME MINISTER, AHMET DAVUTOGLU, SAYING: "Some 70,000 Syrian refugees could reach the Turkish border if the military campaign there continues at this intensity. We didn't close our doors to our brothers who are in trouble and won't close." Turkey and the European Union blame Russia for this latest increase in refugee numbers. They say Moscow's indiscriminate bombing is targeting civilians -- and not the Islamist militants Russia claims to be fighting.

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Aleppo offensive sparks new refugee crisis

Tuesday, February 09, 2016 - 01:26