Syrian Refugees Flee With Stories Of Resistance

Originally published on June 19, 2011 9:47 am
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NPR's Peter Kenyon joins us from Turkey. Hello, Peter.


LYDEN: Where exactly are you and what are you hearing?

KENYON: There was more than 9,000 people here in Turkey already from Syria. Thousands more are spread out on the Syrian side of the border, waiting to go home if things get better. Or make a run for Turkey if they get worse.

LYDEN: You were able to cross into northern Syria and speak to some of the families camping out in a valley there. What did they tell you about the situation in their villages?

KENYON: One man named Abu Ayman, that's a nickname for his family's protection, he described a raid on his village Thursday. He said the troops have seized houses, ripping off the doors, covered in them into military posts. He'd heard some houses were looted. And he told a story that many Syrians repeated, about people getting text messages that everything was fine and they should go home, only to be shot at once again after they arrived.

LYDEN: How are Turkish officials responding to this situation?

KENYON: Ankara has discussed establishing a buffer zone but that would be a pretty drastic change in what was a friendly bilateral relationship - not something they want to do, not least because that area could then become a de facto base for opponents of the regime.

LYDEN: Peter, thanks so much.

KENYON: You're welcome, Jacki. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.