According to the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNRA), over 100,000 Syrians fled the country in August alone, seeking status as refugees. This is by far the most of any single month since the civil war began, and amounts for some 40 percent of the refugees who have fled the nation overall.
“If you do the math, it’s quite an astonishing number,” UNRA spokeswoman Melissa Fleming noted. The figure only counts those who have both fled the country and have sought official refugee status, and therefore is likely considerably lower than the true figure.
The vast majority of the new refugees are in Turkey, which took in 80,000 in August alone. This is not only because of the long Turkish-Syrian border, but because much of the civil war has taken place in the far north, where rebels have seized a number of cities and are contesting a number of others with the Syrian military.
For Syrians mulling fleeing the country, the decision can’t be an easy one. Both regime and rebel forces promise quick victories in their sieges and urge the population to hold tight when they move to take a town. In practice the fighting can drag on for weeks, and in major cases, like the battle for Aleppo, fighting has gone on for a solid month with no sign of either side gaining significant advantages, leaving the population trapped in a war zone.