ANKARA/DOHA - Thousands of Syrians fled their country on Friday in one of the biggest refugee exoduses of the 20 month war after rebels seized a border town.
Syria's fractious opposition was meeting in Qatar, under increasing pressure from the United States and Qatar to unite and form a credible body capable of ruling the country effectively if President Bashar al-Assad falls.
The United Nations said 11,000 refugees had fled in 24 hours, most to Turkey. The exodus is testing the patience of Ankara, the most militarily capable of Syria's neighbors and a strong opponent of Assad. Ankara has long said a full-blown refugee emergency would demand robust intervention.
Rebels overran the frontier town of Ras al-Ain late on Thursday, continuing a drive that has already seen them push Assad's troops from much of the north and seize several crossing points, a rebel commander and opposition sources said.