Syria tightening border with Turkey as citizens flee
Published Wednesday, February 29, 2012 10:07PM EST
The Turkish border with Syria has long been known for the smuggling of goods back and forth, but with the uprising against President Bashar Assad, it is Syrians themselves who are trying to sneak past security.
Thousands of Syrians are now living in four refugee camps on the Turkish side of the 900-kilometre border the countries share.
Last week alone, 300 Syrians fled into Turkey. Turkey says Syrians are welcome to cross the border into their country but in reality, it is not that simple.
Syrians have to sneak past increasingly frequent military patrols and the weather has taken a cold, snowy turn.
Several Syrians spoke to CTV News' Martin Seemungal on the Turkish side of the border. They are still worried about Syrian intelligence officers and covered their faces for the cameras.
Some Syrians are working in Turkey to secure support and weapons for the fight against troops loyal to Assad.
"If the outside world doesn't want to use their force, their army, their equipment, at least they can give us some weapons to use," Balil Dahoud told CTV News.
The UN estimates more than 7,500 people have been killed since the uprising began last March.
Turkey has condemned what it called "atrocities" being committed by the Assad regime. For that, many fear Syria will shut down the border completely.
On Wednesday, Syria showed new determination to crush any rebellion, vowing to "cleanse" a rebel-held district in the central city of Homs.
The city has already faced four weeks of shelling and has been under increasingly scrutiny since two foreign journalists were killed there last week.
With a report by CTV's Martin Seemungal