The United Nations refugee agency said Tuesday that an estimated 200,000 people have fled Syria's commercial capital of Aleppo in recent days and thousands more are seeking shelter in schools and other public buildings.
In a briefing in Geneva, UNHCR spokeswoman Melissa Fleming said the Syrian Arab Red Crescent was registering about 300 displaced families on a daily basis and groups of up to 350 people were packed inside 32 schools, while 7,000 more were taking shelter at a university dormitory.
Fleming said that in Damascus, the agency is operating at half-strength due to security concerns but has managed to set up nine hotlines to take calls from the refugee population.
The numbers fleeing to neighboring countries, including Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan, continue to rise, she said.
Turkey has reportedly received more than 2,000 new arrivals from Aleppo via the Hatay border in the last four days. 'Many report difficulties along the route, including snipers and road blocks, which may be hindering others from making the journey,' Fleming said.
In Jordan, an average of 1,500 people have been arriving every night through informal border crossings, mostly from Dara'a governorate in southern Syria, while in Lebanon several hundred people have been arriving from Syria every day, UNHCR said.