Syria refugee flood to Turkey hits 100,000

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Syria refugee flood to Turkey hits 100,000
Smokes rise after a mortar shell landed in the south of the city center of Syrian Kurdish town of Kobani, seen from the Turkish side of border as thousands of new Syrian refugees from Kobani arrive in Suruc, Turkey, Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014. U.S.-led coalition airstrikes targeted Islamic State fighters pressing their offensive against a Kurdish town near the Syrian-Turkish border on Tuesday in an attempt to halt the militants' advance, activists said. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)
Syrian refugees from Kobani arrive at the Turkey-Syria border crossing of Yumurtalik near Suruc, Turkey, Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014. U.S.-led coalition airstrikes targeted Islamic State fighters pressing their offensive against a Kurdish town near the Syrian-Turkish border on Tuesday in an attempt to halt the militants' advance, activists said. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)
Muhammed Ali, a Syrian Kurd from Kobani, in Syria holds his one-year-old cat, as thousands of new Syrian refugees arrive at the Turkey-Syria border crossing of Yumurtalik near Suruc, Turkey, Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014. U.S.-led coalition airstrikes targeted Islamic State group fighters pressing their offensive against a Kurdish town near the Syrian-Turkish border on Tuesday in an attempt to halt the militants' advance, activists said.(AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)
Smokes rise after a mortar shell landed in the south of the city center of Syrian Kurdish town of Kobani, seen from the Turkish side of border as thousands of new Syrian refugees from Kobani arrive in Suruc, Turkey, Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014. U.S.-led coalition airstrikes targeted Islamic State fighters pressing their offensive against a Kurdish town near the Syrian-Turkish border on Tuesday in an attempt to halt the militants' advance, activists said. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)
A Syrian refugee waits for transport after arriving at the Turkey-Syria border near Suruc, Turkey, Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014. U.S.-led coalition airstrikes targeted Islamic State fighters pressing their offensive against a Kurdish town near the Syrian-Turkish border on Tuesday in an attempt to halt the militants' advance, activists said. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)
Turkish soldiers patrol as the fighting between Islamic militants and Kurdish forces to the west of Kobani, Syria,continues at the Turkey-Syria border near Suruc, Turkey, Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014. U.S.-led coalition airstrikes targeted fighters, vehicles and artillery pieces of the Islamic State group on both sides of the Syria-Iraq frontier Tuesday, including around a beleaguered Kurdish town near the Syrian-Turkish border that is under assault by the militants, activists said. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)
Turkish tanks roll to take positions along the Turkey-Syria border near Suruc, Turkey, Monday, Sept. 29, 2014. U.S.-led coalition air raids targeted towns and villages in northern and eastern Syria controlled by the Islamic State group, including one strike that hit a grain silo and reportedly killed civilians, activists said Monday.(AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)
Turkish soldiers stand as Turkish Kurds gather in the area to express their solidarity with Kurdish fighters in Kobani, Syria, at the Turkey-Syria border near Suruc, Turkey, Monday, Sept. 29, 2014. U.S.-led coalition air raids targeted towns and villages in northern and eastern Syria controlled by the Islamic State group, including one strike that hit a grain silo and reportedly killed civilians, activists said Monday.(AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)
Kurds from Turkey, right, and Syria break down the barbed wire at the Turkey-Syria border near Suruc, Turkey, Friday, Sept. 26, 2014. On Thursday, about 1,000 Kurdish activists arrived at the border after a more than 750 mile (1,200 kilometer) overnight bus ride from Istanbul in response to a call for mass mobilization by the imprisoned leader of the PKK rebel group, Abdullah Ocalan. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)
A Turkish aid worker protects a Syrian refugee child during a sand storm at Yumurtalik crossing gate near Suruc, Turkey, Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2014. More than 200,000 people fleeing the Islamic State militants’ advance on Kobani, Syria, arrived in Turkey over the last five days to find safety. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)
Turkish security use teargas to disperse Kurds from Turkey and Syria after they broke down the barbed wire at the Turkey-Syria border near Suruc, Turkey, Friday, Sept. 26, 2014. On Thursday, about 1,000 Kurdish activists arrived at the border after a more than 750 mile (1,200 kilometer) overnight bus ride from Istanbul in response to a call for mass mobilization by the imprisoned leader of the PKK rebel group, Abdullah Ocalan.(AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)
A Turkish soldier sits guard as several hundred Syrian refugees wait at the border in Suruc, Turkey, Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014. Turkey opened its border Saturday to allow in up to 60,000 people who massed on the Turkey-Syria border, fleeing the Islamic militants’ advance on Kobani.(AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)
Syrian refugees wait at the border in Suruc, Turkey, Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014. Turkey opened its border Saturday to allow in up to 60,000 people who massed on the Turkey-Syria border, fleeing the Islamic militants’ advance on Kobani. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)
Turkish soldiers stand guard as Syrian refugees wait at the border in Suruc, Turkey, Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014. Turkey opened its border Saturday to allow in up to 60,000 people who massed on the Turkey-Syria border, fleeing the Islamic militants’ advance on Kobani. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)
A Turkish soldier stands guard as several hundred Syrian refugees wait, at the border in Suruc, Turkey, Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014. Turkey opened its border Saturday to allow in up to 60,000 people who massed on the Turkey-Syria border, fleeing the Islamic militants’ advance on Kobani.(AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)
Turkish security forces use teargas and water cannons to disperse protesting local people as several hundred Syrian refugees wait at the border, in Suruc, Turkey, Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014. Turkey opened its border Saturday to allow in up to 60,000 people who massed on the Turkey-Syria border, fleeing the Islamic militants’ advance on Kobani. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)
Turkish security forces use teargas and water cannons to disperse protesting local people as several hundred Syrian refugees wait, at the border in Suruc, Turkey, Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014. Turkey opened its border Saturday to allow in up to 60,000 people who massed on the Turkey-Syria border, fleeing the Islamic militants’ advance on Kobani.(AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)
Syrian refugee women and children gather at the border in Suruc, Turkey, Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014. TSeveral thousand Syrians, most of them Kurds, crossed into Turkey on Friday to find refuge from Islamic State militants who have barreled through dozens of Kurdish villages in northern Syria in the past 48 hours. (AP Photo)
Syrian refugee children at the border in Suruc, Turkey, Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014. Several thousand Syrians, most of them Kurds, crossed into Turkey on Friday to find refuge from Islamic State militants who have barreled through dozens of Kurdish villages in northern Syria in the past 48 hours. (AP Photo)
A man throws stones toward Turkish security forces who were using teargas and water cannons to disperse protesting local people as several hundred Syrian refugees waited, at the border in Suruc, Turkey, Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014. Turkey opened its border Saturday to allow in up to 60,000 people who massed on the Turkey-Syria border, fleeing the Islamic militants’ advance on Kobani.(AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)
Turkish soldiers stand guard as several hundred Syrian refugees wait to enter, at the border in Suruc, Turkey, Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014. Turkey opened its border Saturday to allow in up to 60,000 people who massed on the Turkey-Syria border, fleeing the Islamic militants’ advance on Kobani.(AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)
Syrian refugees gather at the border in Suruc, Turkey, late Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014. Several thousand Syrians, most of them Kurds, crossed into Turkey on Friday to find refuge from Islamic State militants who have barreled through dozens of Kurdish villages in northern Syria in the past 48 hours. (AP Photo)
Syrian refugees gather at the border in Suruc, Turkey, late Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014. Several thousand Syrians, most of them Kurds, crossed into Turkey on Friday to find refuge from Islamic State militants who have barreled through dozens of Kurdish villages in northern Syria in the past 48 hours. (AP Photo)
Syrian refugees gather at the border in Suruc, Turkey, late Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014. Several thousand Syrians, most of them Kurds, crossed into Turkey on Friday to find refuge from Islamic State militants who have barreled through dozens of Kurdish villages in northern Syria in the past 48 hours. (AP Photo)
Syrian refugees at the border in Suruc, Turkey, Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014. Several thousand Syrians, most of them Kurds, crossed into Turkey on Friday to find refuge from Islamic State militants who have barreled through dozens of Kurdish villages in northern Syria in the past 48 hours. (AP Photo)
Kurdish protesters throw stones at Turkish soldiers during clashes near the Syrian border after Turkish authorities temporarily closed the border at the southeastern town of Suruc in Sanliurfa province, on September 21, 2014. Tens of thousands of Syrian Kurds flooded into Turkey on Saturday, fleeing an onslaught by the jihadist Islamic State group that prompted an appeal for international intervention. AFP PHOTO/BULENT KILIC (Photo credit should read BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images)
A man walks by a fire during clashes between Kurdish protesters and Turkish soldiers near the Syrian border after Turkish authorities temporarily closed the border at the southeastern town of Suruc in Sanliurfa province, on September 21, 2014. Tens of thousands of Syrian Kurds flooded into Turkey on Saturday, fleeing an onslaught by the jihadist Islamic State group that prompted an appeal for international intervention. AFP PHOTO/BULENT KILIC (Photo credit should read BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images)
Kurdish protesters clash with Turkish soldiers near the Syrian border after Turkish authorities temporarily closed the border at the southeastern town of Suruc in Sanliurfa province, on September 21, 2014. Tens of thousands of Syrian Kurds flooded into Turkey on Saturday, fleeing an onslaught by the jihadist Islamic State group that prompted an appeal for international intervention. AFP PHOTO/BULENT KILIC (Photo credit should read BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images)
A Kurdish protestor throws a gas canister back to Turkish soldiers during clashes near the Syrian border after Turkish authorities temporarily closed the border at the southeastern town of Suruc in Sanliurfa province, on September 21, 2014. Tens of thousands of Syrian Kurds flooded into Turkey on Saturday, fleeing an onslaught by the jihadist Islamic State group that prompted an appeal for international intervention. AFP PHOTO/BULENT KILIC (Photo credit should read BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images)
Syrian Kurds wait near the Syrian border at the southeastern town of Suruc in Sanliurfa province, on September 20, 2014. Tens of thousands of Syrian Kurds flooded into Turkey on September 20, fleeing an onslaught by the jihadist Islamic State group that prompted an appeal for international intervention. AFP PHOTO/BULENT KILIC (Photo credit should read BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images)
Syrian Kurds wait near the Syrian border at the southeastern town of Suruc in Sanliurfa province, on September 20, 2014. Tens of thousands of Syrian Kurds flooded into Turkey on September 20, fleeing an onslaught by the jihadist Islamic State group that prompted an appeal for international intervention. AFP PHOTO/BULENT KILIC (Photo credit should read BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images)
Syrian Kurds wait near the Syrian border at the southeastern town of Suruc in Sanliurfa province, on September 20, 2014. Tens of thousands of Syrian Kurds flooded into Turkey on September 20, fleeing an onslaught by the jihadist Islamic State group that prompted an appeal for international intervention. AFP PHOTO/BULENT KILIC (Photo credit should read BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images)
Kurdish people clash with Turkish soldiers near the Syrian border after Turkish authorities temporarily closed the border at the southeastern town of Suruc in Sanliurfa province, on September 21, 2014. Tens of thousands of Syrian Kurds flooded into Turkey on Saturday, fleeing an onslaught by the jihadist Islamic State group that prompted an appeal for international intervention. AFP PHOTO/BULENT KILIC (Photo credit should read BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images)
Syrian Kurds wait near the Syrian border at the southeastern town of Suruc in Sanliurfa province, on September 20, 2014. Tens of thousands of Syrian Kurds flooded into Turkey on September 20, fleeing an onslaught by the jihadist Islamic State group that prompted an appeal for international intervention. AFP PHOTO/BULENT KILIC (Photo credit should read BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images)
People help a man, who was hit with a stone thrown by demonstrators, during clashes between Kurdish demonstrators and riot police in Suruc, Turkey, Monday, Sept. 22, 2014. Thousands of Syrian refugees continue to arrive at the border after Turkey opened its border Saturday to allow in up to 60,000 people who massed on the Turkey-Syria border, fleeing the Islamic militants’ advance on Kobani. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)
Riot police use teargas to disperse Kurdish demonstrators who were clashing with Turkish security forces as thousands of Syrian refugees continue to arrive at the border in Suruc, Turkey, Monday, Sept. 22, 2014. Turkey opened its border Saturday to allow in up to 60,000 people who massed on the Turkey-Syria border, fleeing the Islamic militants’ advance on Kobani.(AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)
A man, who was hit with a stone thrown by demonstrators, holds his bleeding face during clashes between Kurdish demonstrators and riot police in Suruc, Turkey, Monday, Sept. 22, 2014. Thousands of Syrian refugees continue to arrive at the border after Turkey opened its border Saturday to allow in up to 60,000 people who massed on the Turkey-Syria border, fleeing the Islamic militants’ advance on Kobani. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)
Riot police use water cannons to disperse Kurdish demonstrators who were clashing with Turkish security forces, as thousands of Syrian refugees continue to arrive at the border in Suruc, Turkey, Monday, Sept. 22, 2014. Turkey opened its border Saturday to allow in up to 60,000 people who massed on the Turkey-Syria border, fleeing the Islamic militants’ advance on Kobani.(AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)
Riot police use water cannons to disperse Kurdish demonstrators who were clashing with Turkish security forces, as thousands of Syrian refugees continue to arrive at the border in Suruc, Turkey, Monday, Sept. 22, 2014. Turkey opened its border Saturday to allow in up to 60,000 people who massed on the Turkey-Syria border, fleeing the Islamic militants’ advance on Kobani.(AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)
Turkish soldiers sit, as thousands of Syrian refugees continue to arrive at the border in Suruc, Turkey, Monday, Sept. 22, 2014. Some 130,000 Syrian refugees have reached Turkey in the past four days after fleeing the advance of Islamic State militants, Turkey's deputy prime minister said Monday, warning that the number could rise further as the militants press ahead with an onslaught. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)
Kurdish demonsrators clash with Turkish security forces as thousands of Syrian refugees continue to arrive at the border in Suruc, Turkey, Monday, Sept. 22, 2014. Turkey opened its border Saturday to allow in up to 60,000 people who massed on the Turkey-Syria border, fleeing the Islamic militants’ advance on Kobani.(AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)
Turkish security forces use teargas and water cannons to disperse protesting local people as several hundred Syrian refugees wait at the border in Suruc, Turkey, Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014. Turkey opened its border Saturday to allow in up to 60,000 people who massed on the Turkey-Syria border, fleeing the Islamic militants’ advance on Kobani.(AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)
A Turkish soldier stands guard as several hundred Syrian refugees wait to at the border in Suruc, Turkey, Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014. Turkey opened its border Saturday to allow in up to 60,000 people who massed on the Turkey-Syria border, fleeing the Islamic militants’ advance on Kobani. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)
Riot police detain a demonstrator during clashes with Kurdish demonstrators as thousands of Syrian refugees continue to arrive at the border in Suruc, Turkey, Monday, Sept. 22, 2014. Turkey opened its border Saturday to allow in up to 60,000 people who massed on the Turkey-Syria border, fleeing the Islamic militants’ advance on Kobani. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)
A Kurdish demonstrator runs to throw stones toward riot police during clashes as thousands of Syrian refugees continue to arrive at the border in Suruc, Turkey, Monday, Sept. 22, 2014. Turkey opened its border Saturday to allow in up to 60,000 people who massed on the Turkey-Syria border, fleeing the Islamic militants’ advance on Kobani. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)
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By DESMOND BUTLER and SUZAN FRASER

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) -- The number of Syrian refugees who have reached Turkey in the past four days after fleeing the advance of Islamic State militants now totals 130,000, Turkey's deputy prime minister said Monday.

Numan Kurtulmus said Turkey is prepared for "the worst case scenario" should more refugees stream in.

The refugees have been flooding into Turkey since Thursday, escaping an Islamic State offensive that has pushed the conflict nearly within eyeshot of the Turkish border.

The al-Qaida breakaway group, which has established an Islamic state, or caliphate, ruled by its harsh version of Islamic law in territory it captured straddling the Syria-Iraq border, has in recent days advanced into Kurdish regions of Syria that border Turkey, where fleeing refugees on Sunday reported atrocities that included stonings, beheadings and the torching of homes.

Although the numbers are high, Turkey says it is ready to react: the conflict in Syria has pushed more than a million people over the border in the past 3 1/2 years.

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about ourPrivacy Policy and Terms of Use.

ABOVE IS AN AP UPDATE TO THE BELOW:

KUCUK KENDIRCILER, Turkey (AP) - The number of refugees seeking shelter in Turkey from the Islamic State group's advance across northern Syria has hit 100,000 in less than a week, an official said Sunday.

The head of Turkey's disaster management agency, Fuat Oktay, said the figure relates to Syrians escaping the area near the Syrian border town of Kobani, where fighting has raged between IS and Kurdish fighters since Thursday.

The U.N. refugee agency said earlier that about 70,000 Syrians have crossed into Turkey in the past 24 hours, and that it was preparing for the arrival of hundreds of thousands more. Those are significant numbers, even in the context of the 1.5 million refugees who've fled to Turkey in the past three-and-a-half years.

Thousands of Syrians Fleeing ISIS Pour Into Turkey

Turkish authorities said they were ready to deal with the influx.

"We have been prepared for this," disaster management agency spokesman Dogan Eskinat said. "We are also prepared for worse."

The refugees, most of them ethnic Kurds, have been desperate to reach Turkey and escape the advance of religious extremists barreling across Syria.

On Sunday, heavy clashes broke out between the Islamic State group and Kurdish fighters only a few miles from Kobani, which is also known as Ayn Arab.

The Islamic State group was bombarding villagers with tanks, artillery and multiple rocket launchers, said Nasser Haj Mansour, an official at the defense office in Syria's Kurdish region.

"They are even targeting civilians who are fleeing," Haj Mansour told The Associated Press by telephone.

As refugees flooded in, Turkey closed the border crossing in Kucuk Kendirciler to Turkish Kurds. Local police saying they were seeking to prevent Kurdish fighters from entering Syria. Hundreds of Kurdish fighters entered Syria from Turkey on Saturday, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Kucuk Kendirciler is a small village about two kilometers (about a mile) from Kobani.

Clashes broke out as Kurds trying to approach the crossing from inside Turkey scuffled with security forces, which attacked crowds with tear gas, paint pellets and water cannons. The state-run Anadolu Agency reported Kurdish protesters had hurled stones at the security forces.

The pro-Kurdish Democratic Regions' Party said two people were seriously injured in the clashes, including one Kurdish legislator who was hospitalized. The party said the Kurds were protesting the Islamic State group's attacks as well as the border closure.

The sound of gunfire could be heard from the Syrian side of the frontier where refugees were piling up after authorities shut the crossing. It wasn't immediately clear whether they were unable to cross or simply waiting to see what would happen.

Mohammed Osman Hamme, a middle-aged Syrian Kurdish refugee who managed to make his way across, told The Associated Press he fled with his wife and small children from the village of Dariya in the Raqqa province 10 days ago after hearing that the Islamic State group was headed their way.

The family walked for three days, passing the town of Tal Abyad, near the Turkish border, where they saw four severed heads hanging in the streets, he said.

During the interview a tear gas gun went off, causing Hamme's terrified daughter to start screaming. Later, Turkish police used armored cars to push people back from the village.

The situation on the other side of the border is dire.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the Islamic State group has taken control of 64 villages in northern Syria since the fighting began there early Wednesday. It says that the fate of 800 Kurds from these villages is unknown, adding that the Islamic State group executed 11 civilians, including two boys.

The Aleppo Media Center, another activist group, said that Sunday's battles were concentrated on the southern and eastern suburbs of Kobani. Mansour said the battles are taking place about eight miles (13 kilometers) from the town.

UNHCR spokeswoman Selin Unal said most of those coming across the border are Kurdish women, children and the elderly.

She urged the international community to step up its aid for Syrian refugees in Turkey.

"Turkey is assisting with all needs but it's huge numbers," she said.

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