On Sept.19, Islamic State (IS) militants started to attack dozens of Kurdish villages in northern Syria across the Turkish border, triggering a new wave of refugees. Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said Sept. 22 that more than 130,000 Syrian Kurds have crossed the border into Turkey since IS laid siege to the border town of Kobani, also known as Ayn al-Arab. “We are prepared for the worst-case scenario, which is an influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees,” Kurtulmus said.
Turkish news channels have been showing live feeds of the refugees, including many women and children, coming to the border fence with just the clothes on their backs. The crossings are occurring not at official border gates but in areas somewhat removed from where clashes have been taking place. And in fact, the Syrian regime controls only two official border gates, while the rest are in the hands of either the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) or the extremist forces.