Turkey on Monday said it will not abandon the tens of thousands of Syrians stranded at its border. Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus told CNN Turk television, “Turkey has reached the limit of its capacity to absorb refugees. But in the end, these people have nowhere else to go. Either they will die beneath the bombings...or we will open our borders.”

Thousands of people have fled Syria in the last few days after fresh offensives by the country's government, supported by Russian airstrikes, were launched in Syria’s largest city Aleppo, PTI reported. The refugee crisis has worsened once more, with thousands of people waiting in the cold at the borders for the third day. An AFP reporter said Turkey's Oncupinar border crossing, which faces the Bab al-Salama frontier post inside Syria, remained closed to the refugees who were gathered there waiting for Turkish aid trucks to deliver food and tents.

In another development, German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrived in Ankara, Turkey, on Monday. She is scheduled to meet both Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to discuss the Syrian crisis and Turkey’s contribution to limiting the number of migrants heading to Western Europe. Erdoğan also said that "if necessary", Turkey would let refugees enter since Syria was "under threat" again.