Syrian family flees into Lebanon
Syrian family flees into Lebanon Reuters

More than 2,300 Syrian refugees poured into Turkey during a 24-hour period, a Turkish official told AFP on Thursday.

The numbers brings to 22,000 the total number of Syrians seeking haven in Turkey, the official said.

Turkey is home to a growing number of refugees fleeing the unrest in Syria, where more than 9,000 people have been killed since March of last year, according to UN figures.

The official told AFP that 2,350 refugees crossed the border in one single day.

According to AFP, Turkish officials have contingency plans in the event of a larger-scale incursion as Syrian regime forces storm opposition towns near the Turkish border.

Currently, according to the report, the government has set up nine locations including eight tented camps and a “container city” in Kilis, some 95 miles east of the Hatay camps, to deal with the influx.

Turkey has broken a former alliance with the Damascus regime and has urged President Bashar Assad to quit.

The country hosts a large Syrian opposition community, including rebels defecting from the army, and earlier this week hosted the “Friends of Syria” summit.

Meanwhile on Thursday, an advanced peacekeeping team arrived in Damascus to negotiate the deployment of an unarmed UN observer force in Syria.

A spokesman for UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan said the UN is already asking member states to dedicate 200-250 soldiers to the observer force, which will be tasked with monitoring a UN-backed ceasefire agreement.

Assad has formally agreed to the ceasefire negotiated by Annan from April 10th, but that has not stopped his troops from continuing to attack residential areas in a bid to weaken opposition forces.