Turkish firefighters battle blazes ‘deliberately started’ on Syria border

The Associated Press reports: Turkish firefighters are battling blazes along the border with Syria in areas where thousands of Syrians have crossed to flee the fighting in their country.

Mehmet Harbi, a forestry official, claimed the fires were “deliberately started” at four different points on the Syrian side of the border and spread to Turkey because of strong winds. Turkey’s state-run TRT television said Syrian forces were believed to have started the fires to deny shelter to rebels along the border area. Harbi and TRT provided no evidence to substantiate their claims.

More than 35,000 Syrians are living in refugee camps on the Turkish side of the border that were opened to care for the many people fleeing Syria’s unrest. Sporadic clashes between Syrian forces and activists also have occurred on the Syrian side of the border.

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