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Tens of thousands 'still on their way' to Turkey-Syria border

A Syrian woman carries her belongings on her head at a refugee camp near the Bab al-Al Salam crossing. Credit: Reuters

Around 35,000 Syrian refugees have arrived at the Turkish border near Kilis in the last 48 hours, a Turkish official has said amid warnings that tens of thousands more people may still be on their way to the frontier between the two countries.

Kilis governor Suleyman Tapsiz said the recent arrivals were being provided with food and blankets while accommodated in camps at the Syrian side of the border, adding that another 70,000 could be expected if Russian airstrikes and advances by the Syrian regime continued.

He told reporters that while the border was not closed, "at the moment there is no need to host such people inside our borders".

Speaking at around the same time, Turkey's foreign minister said the border between his country and Syria was still open, claiming that people needed to flee because Russian airstrikes were hitting "schools, hospitals and civilians".

He added that a further 55,000 people could be expected to arrive at the border in the coming days.

Syrian minister: Foreign fighters will 'go home in coffins'

Syria's foreign minister warned against any 'aggression' from foreign troops. Credit: Reuters

Syria's foreign minister has warned that any foreign ground troops who enter Syria without approval will "return home in coffins" - an apparent warning to Saudi Arabia which announced days ago it was ready to send forces into country.

Speaking amid talks intended to broker a ceasefire in the country, Walid al-Moualem said no such deal would be possible until the country's borders with Turkey and Jordan are closed.

It comes as thousands fled to the border of Turkey amid a fresh wave of fighting in Aleppo.


Thousands flee to Turkey border amid fresh fighting in Aleppo

Thousands of Syrians have fled to the Turkish border as the city of Aleppo came under fresh attack from a Russian assault.

The exodus came after Syrian troops backed by allied militias and intense Russian air strikes launched an offensive in northern Syria, apparently aimed at eventually encircling the contested city of Aleppo.

International Affairs Editor Rageh Omaar reports:

Kerry: Syria ceasefire still being discussed

Syria peace talks are continuing, according to John Kerry Credit: REUTERS/Nicholas Kamm

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has said that discussions for a Syria ceasefire are underway but whether or not a resolution can be found may not be clear for a few days.

Speaking on the same day that it was revealed some 15,000 Syrians has gathered at the Turkish border in an effort to flee fresh violence in Aleppo, Kerry said it would soon become clear if Russia were serious about agreeing to a ceasefire.

He said: "The modalities of a ceasefire itself are also being discussed and the Russians have made some constructive ideas about how a ceasefire in fact could be implemented.

"But if it's just talks for the sake of talks in order to continue the bombing, nobody is going to accept that, and we will know that in the course of the next days."

Aid agencies urge Turkey to let fleeing Syrians cross border

Aid agencies have been urging Turkey to let the thousands of Syrian's fleeing fresh violence in Aleppo cross the border to safety, after reports that the border has been closed.

It comes as video emerged of crowds of Syrians walking towards a key crossing point between the two countries in an attempt to reach safety:

Rights group Amnesty International called on the nation to let people in and U.S. aid agency Mercy Corps warned the situation could escalate.

David Evans, Mercy Corps' Middle East program director, told Reuters: "It feels like a siege of Aleppo is about to begin".

Thousands flee to border amid fresh fighting in Aleppo

Tens of thousands amassed at the Turkish border on Friday Credit: RTV

Thousands of Syrians have fled to the Turkish border as the city of Aleppo came under fresh attack from a Russian assault.

As many as 15,000 people have gathered at the Bab al-Salam border crossing, carrying their belongings on their backs, as they sought refuge from the fighting.

Aleppo's mass exodus came as the UK's mission to the UN claimed Russia had completed at least 320 strikes north-west of the city while international Syrian peace talks were taking place.


Syria aid conference asks world to dig deep for refugees

The world was asked to dig deep to offer financial help and hope to the 18 million people displaced both inside and outside Syria due to civil war at a conference in London today.

By the end of the day, £7bn had been pledged, surpassing the £5.4bn target, said by the UN to be the biggest amount raised in a day for a single cause.

The priority has been to not just come up with the funds to feed and house refugees but to help the economies of neighbouring countries hosting the majority of them.

ITV News International Affairs Editor, Rageh Omaar reports:

Saudi Arabia 'ready to back US-led coalition with ground troops' in Syria

Members of Saudi special forces aim their guns during a training session Credit: Reuters

Saudi Arabia is ready to back the US-led coalition in Syria with ground troops, a Saudi military spokesman told Reuters.

"The kingdom is ready to participate in any ground operations that the coalition (against Islamic State) may agree to carry out in Syria," Brigadier General Ahmed Asseri told the Saudi-owned al-Arabiya TV.

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