Thousands of Syrians made their way into Turkey across an impromptu border crossing on Wednesday, part of a recent surge of refugees fleeing fighting in the city of Tal Abyad. Kurdish YPG forces and Islamic State militants have been locked in a battle for the Syrian city since the Kurds launched an offensive earlier this month.
An estimated 6,800 people were driven across the border by the conflict last week and Turkish officials said that they received an additional 2,000 people on Wednesday. Many of the refugees are women and children, according to a Reuters witness.
This latest group of Syrians to make the journey out of their homeland adds to the almost 4 million registered refugees who had already left the war-torn country. Turkey is the largest recipient of the diaspora, with over 1.7 million Syrians living there.
In December, the Turkish government instituted new regulations that give Syrian refugees legal rights to healthcare and education, as well as ID cards. The country is currently debating whether to allow the refugees to use their ID cards to apply for work permits, but until such a measure passes many refugees find themselves struggling to find an income.
Syrian refugees wait for transportation after crossing into Turkey from the Syrian town of Tal Abyad, on June 10, 2015. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)