More than 23,000 refugees flee to Turkey to escape Syria fighting: U.N.

Reuters News
Posted: Jun 16, 2015 5:43 AM

GENEVA (Reuters) - More than 23,000 refugees fleeing fighting in northern Syria have crossed into Turkey, the United Nations refugee agency said on Tuesday, quoting Turkish authorities.

Syrian Kurdish-led forces said they had captured a town at the Turkish border from Islamic State on Monday, driving it away from the frontier in an advance backed by U.S.-led air strikes.

"Most of the new arrivals are Syrians escaping fighting between rival military forces in and around the key border town of Tel Abyad, which was controlled by militants and faces Akcakale across the border," UNHCR spokesman William Spindler told a Geneva briefing. The figure includes more than 2,183 Iraqis from the cities of Mosul, Ramadi and Fallujah, he added.

(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Hugh Lawson)