Turkey has announced it is suspending border controls for foreign migrants hoping to cross into Europe, according to reports.
Millions of migrants currently being ‘hosted’ in Turkey are now invited to journey onwards to the European Union.
“We have decided, effectively immediately, not to stop Syrian refugees from reaching Europe by land or sea,” an unnamed Turkish official told Reuters.
“All refugees, including Syrians, are now welcome to cross into the European Union.”
The move reportedly comes in retaliation for an airstrike by Russian-backed Syrian forces that killed 33 Turkish soldiers in Idlib.
“In anticipation of the imminent arrival of refugees from Idlib, Turkish police, coastguard and border security officials have been ordered to stand down on refugees’ land and sea crossings towards Europe,” Reuters reports, citing the Turkish official.
Videos and photos purporting to show masses of mostly-male migrants moving towards Turkey's western border and into Europe have flooded social media.
Turkey has been threatening to "open the gates" to Europe and unleash many of the roughly 3.7 million 'refugees' being held there, many of whom arrived since the 2016 migrant crisis.
Ankara has received billions of euros in aid from the EU in exchange for preventing many migrants from continuing on to Europe.
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(PHOTO: Gokhan Balci/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)Dan Lyman: Follow @CitizenAnalyst