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Turkey Says It Won't 'Abandon Syrian Refugees To Death'

Turkey says it will continue to let in Syrian refugees, despite reaching "the limit of its capacity to absorb the refugees."

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said on February 7 that tens of thousands of refugees trapped on Turkey's border at Kilis after fleeing a new Syrian government offensive "have nowhere else to go."

"Either they will die beneath the bombings...or we will open our borders," Kurtulmus told CNN Turk television. Turkey will not abandon the refugees "to their deaths," he added.

Some 35,000 Syrian refugees have massed on the border with Turkey after fleeing the Syrian government offensive on rebel-held positions near Aleppo.

Earlier, European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini urged Turkey to let in the refugees, saying there was a moral, if not legal, duty to provide protection.

In November, the EU reached a deal with Turkey, offering $3.3 billion to care for Syrian refugees on Turkish soil.

Turkey is home to at least 2.5 million Syrian refugees.

Based on reporting by AFP, dpa, and the BBC