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The Turkish president had previously threatened to “open the gates” for migrants to Europe unless his country receives more support in hosting the refugees.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said during Sunday that more than 80,000 people were currently making their way from Idlib (northwestern Syria) to Turkey, and added his country cannot handle another wave of migrants, warning that Europe will feel the impact of such an influx.
Syria and its ally Russia intensified this week their bombardment of targets in Idlib, prompting a new wave of refugees toward Turkey. Erdogan had previously threatened to “open the gates” for migrants to Europe unless his country receives more support in hosting the refugees.
Turkey is seeking international support for plans to settle one million Syrians in part of northeast Syria that its forces and their Syrian rebel allies seized from the Kurdish YPG militia in a cross-border incursion in October.
Yet, Ankara has received little public backing for the proposal and has repeatedly blasted its allies for not supporting its plans.
After a global refugee forum in Geneva last week, the United Nations refugee agency said that states pledged more than US$3 billion to support refugees and around 50,000 resettlement places.
Erdogan, who was also present at the forum, said on Sunday that the amount was not enough.
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 some three million Syrians live in the last significant swathe of territory controlled by armed groups hostile to the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.