Turkey's foreign minister has called on the UN to consider setting up a buffer zone in Syria to protect civilians. After absorbing more than 80,000 Syrian refugees, Turkey says it is no longer equipped to deal with the massive number of Syrians crossing its border in order to escape the growing violence.
For months Turkey has publicly supported the Syrian opposition, and Syria's struggling strongman Bashar al-Assad quickly dismissed Ankara's plan. One of Turkey's greatest fears is that Kurdish refugees from Syria could destabilise its own large and restive Kurdish minority. The buffer zone proposal, to be taken up Thursday by foreign ministers at the security council, could require troops on the ground and a no-fly zone. That level of intervention will likely bring another round of vetoes from Russia and China.
Tens of thousands of Syrians have already fled to Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq. The UN refugee agency estimates that 5,000 Syrians reach Turkey every day; the rate of refugees fleeing to Jordan has doubled in the last week.
This graphic from the US embassy in Damascus breaks down the crisis in Syria by numbers of refugees and internally displaced.
Sources: Reuters, Daily Star, Telegraph, New York Times, ABC News, NPR, US embassy Damascus