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Turkey Bracing For New Jihadi Threat

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Voice Of America

Turkey Bracing For New Jihadi Threat

By Dorian Jones

ISTANBUL - Thousands of jihadis are set to seek sanctuary in Turkey with Damascus' forces laying siege to Idlib, the last Syrian rebel enclave. With Damascus determined to take control of all of Syria, analysts warn it's only a matter of time before Turkey faces an exodus of not only refugees, but also the arrival of extremist fighters, posing a significant security threat to the country.

Syrian government forces are steadily tightening their grip on Idlib province, the last pocket of the rebel resistance. It's estimated about 3 million Syrians are holed up in the enclave, of which half have fled fighting in other parts of Syria.

"It poses a huge threat, roughly half-a-million refugees are piled at the border in ramshackle refugee camps," said analyst Atilla Yesilada of Global Source Partners.

"If [Syrian President Bashar Hafez al-] Assad moves north and captures Idlib city, these people will flock to Turkey, and there is no way we cannot accept them. In addition to that, maybe 40,000, maybe 60,000 extremely vicious fundamentalists will mix in with them and enter Turkey, adding to the instability in the border region."

Read more: https://www.voanews.com/middle-east/turkey-bracing-new-jihadi-threat