In one of the largest single-day movements of refugees since the Syrian crisis began, 11,000 Syrians fled into neighboring countries Friday, with 9,000 of them entering Turkey, according to the United Nations. The number of registered refugees who have fled from Syria to Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq now totals 408,000, as reported by the New York Times, and many of them remain within the border areas, where links and tensions among Sunnis, Shiites and other groups are driving security concerns.
Jeffrey White, a defense fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, told Trend Lines that the influx of refugees is aggravating the security situation in the border areas of the countries that surround Syria.
“The fact that there is so much movement across these borders increases the difficulty of policing them,” he said. “Domestic political tensions also tend to be aggravated by large refugee flows, and you also have the potential for clashes or fighting along the border as all sides fight for influence or control of the situation.”