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(DF) Bulgaria Prepares for Surging Migrant Wave amid Turkey-Syria Hostilities

February 28 (BTA) – Bulgaria has sent gendarmerie to its border with Turkey and strengthened its maritime security after reports of a surge of migrants fleeing military hostilities in Syria, Prime Minister Boyko Borissov said Friday. “A real threat exists for Bulgaria of surging migrant flows due to the conflict between Syria and Turkey,” he said. He said he is expecting an emergency phone call with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan. Earlier on Friday, Reuters quoted a senior Turkish official as saying that Turkey, faced with a possible new wave of Syrian migrants and dozens more dead Turkish soldiers in Idlib, will no longer stop Syrian refugees from reaching Europe. “We are worried that the Turkish border guards have pulled away from the border and our only hope is that they will be stopping the migrants before they reach the border,” said the Bulgarian government leader. Bulgarian Defence Minister Krassimir Karakachanov said, as quoted by his Ministry, that the Armed Forces will provide any support necessary and take the needed measures to protect the national border “by not letting a single illegal migrant into Bulgarian territory”. The Ministry said it is ready to join the border protection efforts with up to 1,000 service persons and 140 units of equipment. Its statement says that on Friday morning border police prevented the entry into Bulgaria of two groups of migrants of 30 persons each. RY/LN///