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Syrian refugees flee fighting in Idlib to nearby Turkey

Reuters reports that a government offensive in northwest Syria has sharply increased the flow of refugees into Turkey, with about a thousand crossing in the last 24 hours, Turkish officials said on Thursday. The number fleeing was expected to grow further as long as fighting continued around the town of Idlib, close to the Turkish border, one Turkish official said.

Bulent Kilic / AFP - Getty Images

A girl carries tomatoes as Syrian refugees go about their daily lives at the Reyhanli refugee Camp in Antakya, on March 15. Ankara accused the Syrian leadership of planting landmines near its border with Turkey along routes used by refugees fleeing the Damascus regime's deadly crackdown on dissent.

Bulent Kilic / AFP - Getty Images

Syrian refugees arrive near the border between Syria and Turkey at Reyhanli in Antakya on March 15. Some 1,000 Syrian refugees, including a defecting general, crossed into Turkey in 24 hours, braving landmines laid to stop them by Syria's troops, Turkish officials said today. The head of the Turkish Red Crescent meanwhile warned that the number of Syrians arriving in Turkey could reach half a million if Bashar al-Assad's regime keeps up its year-long crackdown on dissent.

Turkey said on Thursday it might consider backing a 'buffer zone' inside Syria to cope with a flow of refugees, which is estimated in the Reuters report at 14,700. The UN says nearly a quarter of a million Syrians have fled their homes since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad began, according to a recent BBC News report.

Staff / Reuters

Syrian refugees play at the Reyhanli refugee camp in Hatay province on the Turkish-Syrian border March 15.

Bulent Kilic / AFP - Getty Images

A girl carries tomatoes as Syrian refugees go about their daily lives at the Reyhanli refugee Camp in Antakya, on March 15. Ankara accused the Syrian leadership of planting landmines near its border with Turkey along routes used by refugees fleeing the Damascus regime's deadly crackdown on dissent.

Today, on the first anniversary of the bloody uprising in Syria, Msnbc.com's David Arnott looks back at how visual coverage of the conflict has been severely restricted, unlike many of the other Arab Spring rebellions.

Burhan Ozbilici / AP

A group of Syrian fleeing violence in their country, walk towards the Turkish, near Reyhanli, Turkey, Thursday, March 15.