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Countries urged to shelter Syrian refugees

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Syrian Kurdish refugees are seen the Turkish-Syrian border in Sanliurfa province, Turkey, Oct. 17, 2014. About 180,000 Syrian Kurds fled into southeastern Turkey in the past four weeks, away from violence of Islamic State (IS) militants who seized dozens of Kurdish villages in northern Syria.
Syrian Kurdish refugees are seen the Turkish-Syrian border in Sanliurfa province, Turkey, Oct. 17, 2014. About 180,000 Syrian Kurds fled into southeastern Turkey in the past four weeks, away from violence of Islamic State (IS) militants who seized dozens of Kurdish villages in northern Syria.

The UN refugee agency and other international humanitarian organisations have launched a campaign urging countries around the world to accommodate around 180,000 Syrian refugees.

The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said Monday that there were more than 3.2 million Syrian refugees in neighbouring countries, and predicted the number could rise to nearly 3.6 million by the end of 2015.

If other countries could shelter 180,000 refugees and support Syria’s neighbours, “it would also encourage those countries to keep their borders open to ensure those in Syria can flee the conflict, and could contribute to their stability”, the UNHCR said.

“Syria’s neighbouring countries have shown incredible generosity over the last three and a half years, but the strain of the crisis is weighing heavily on infrastructure and public services,” Press TV quoted the UNHCR as saying in a statement.

The UNHCR says more than two million registered refugees have taken shelter in Turkey and Lebanon.

However, several countries, including the Persian Gulf Arab states and Latin American countries, have not accepted any refugees since unrest hit Syria in 2011.

The UN is scheduled to discuss the issue of the Syrian refugees during a conference in Geneva Tuesday.

Over 7.2 million Syrians have become internally displaced due to the war, according to the UN.

More than 200,000 people have died so far in the conflict in Syria, according to the UNHCR.

Western powers and their regional allies, especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, are the main supporters of the militants operating inside Syria, the UNHCR said.