Displaced Syrians look at Turkish soldiers as they hope to cross the border into Turkey near the northern Syrian village of Shamarin, in rebel-held province of Aleppo, on February 5, 2014. (AFP PHOTO / BARAA AL-HALABI)
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The government's barrel bomb offensive against the city of Aleppo has produced a new refugee minicrisis, as residents flee for government-controlled areas and the Turkish border.A pro-opposition media outlet based in Aleppo, the Halab News network, said that over the last week, 1,500 families had tried to cross from rebel-held east to the western part of Syria's commercial metropolis, where the government forces are in control.The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based watchdog, said regime helicopters dropped crude "barrel bombs" on at least four neighborhoods in Aleppo, while several other neighborhoods were targeted by regime airstrikes, killing at least five people.A camp inside Syria near the Syrian Bab al-Salameh border crossing, about 50 kilometers north of Aleppo, is also full, IHH's Kilis media officer said, adding that numbers there had risen to 25,000 from 14,000 in the last week.Further east, the Observatory said that for the last 18 days, Turkish authorities had been preventing more than 2,000 refugees, including women and children, from crossing into Turkey after they had fled the city of Raqqa.
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