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Syria - Apr 9, 2012 - 11:30

Last modified: 9 Apr 2012 08:30

The UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan is expected to visit refugee camps near the border in southern Turkey on Tuesday, a Turkish diplomatic source has said.
"The visit will only last a few hours, ahead of Annan's trip to Iran," the official told the AFP news agency on condition of anonymity.
The former UN chief is expected in Tehran on Wednesday.

Around 25,000 Syrian refugees are currently housed in camps in Turkey's three provinces bordering Syria, where civilians have been fleeing the ongoing violence.

Annan has brokered a deal whereby Syrian troops should withdraw from protest cities by Tuesday, with a complete end to fighting set for 48 hours later.

US senators John McCain and Joe Lieberman, who are due to hold talks with Turkish President Abdullah Gul in Ankara on Monday, are also expected to visit refugees in the Hatay province on Tuesday, the diplomatic source said.

"An unfair fight is going on. With tanks and artillery, [Syrian President] Bashar al-Assad is going around city to city and committing massacres of his own people," McCain told the AFP in an interview last month.
"They deserve our assistance and international assistance to fight back," he said, urging the world to increase the pressure on the Syrian government.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish prime minister, once an ally of Assad, has threatened to take action should Damascus fail to comply with the Annan plan.
The Milliyet newspaper reported on Monday that Turkey would consider using troops to secure humanitarian corridors in border areas should the number of Syrian refugees swell to above 50,000.

The UN says more than 9,000 people have been killed since the crisis began 13 months ago, while monitors put the number at more than 10,000.

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Syrian refugee boys hold up a poster of Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan at Reyhanli refugee camp in Hatay province on the Turkish-Syrian border [Photo: Reuters]