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Syrian refugees in Turkey at risk of destitution: Amnesty

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Amnesty International has warned that hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees living in neighboring Turkey are at risk of destitution.

The human rights group said in a Thursday report that only 220,000 out of the 1.6 million Syrian refugees in Turkey have been sheltered in refugee camps and the rest are fending for themselves.

“A growing number of Syrian refugees in Turkey are struggling to survive,” it said, adding that hundreds of thousands were “likely to be destitute or at serious risk of destitution.”

Amnesty noted that Turkey’s “response to the Syrian refugee crisis… is increasingly showing its limitations.”

“Some are so desperate that they are considering returning to war-torn Syria,” it said.

Amnesty also said it has documented violent attacks against the Syrians who had tried to cross illegally into Turkey.

The rights group called for an investigation into 17 fatal shootings and 10 incidents, in which 31 people were allegedly beaten by Turkish border guards.

“Syrian refugees are being denied access to Turkey, pushed back or even killed or injured while attempting the crossing,” Amnesty said.

More than three million Syrians are said to have taken shelter in Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Iraq since the outset of the crisis in Syria in March 2011.

Over 7.2 million Syrians have become internally displaced due to the war, according to the UN.

More than 200,000 people have died so far in the conflict in Syria, according to UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Zeid al-Hussein.

Western powers and their regional allies – especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey – are the main supporters of the militants operating inside Syria.

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