In this photo provided by Turkey's Islamic aid group of IHH, a temporary refugee camp for displaced Syrians in Azaz region, Syria, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016. (IHH via AP)
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Up to 20,000 Syrians were stranded on the Turkish border Friday after fleeing a major Russian-backed government offensive near Aleppo where a new humanitarian disaster appeared to be unfolding.Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Thursday up to 70,000 people were heading to his country, which already hosts about 2.5 million Syrian refugees.Aleppo city, Syria's former economic powerhouse, has been divided between opposition control in the east and government control in the west since mid-2012 .Syria's army has been on the offensive since staunch government ally Russia began an aerial campaign in support of government forces on Sept. 30 . Since then, the government has recaptured several key rebel towns in Latakia province – Assad's coastal heartland – and advanced in Aleppo province and in Deraa in the south.A rebel counteroffensive saw opposition fighters regain half of Ratyan in heavy fighting that killed some 60 rebels and the same number of government forces, according to the Observatory.
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