The number of Syrian refugees in Turkey who have fled the escalating violence in their strife-torn homeland has reached more than 50,000, Turkish officials said Thursday. The total number of the refugees was 50,227 as of Thursday after more than 5,000 Syrians crossed into Turkey this week, the country\'s Disaster and Emergency Administration said in a statement posted on its website. A Turkish foreign ministry official at the border told Agence France Presse some 2,300 Syrians including low-ranking military defectors fled to Turkey in the last 24 hours. This week has seen a marked increase in the number of refugees making their way to Turkey amid escalating clashes in Syria\'s northern city of Aleppo. Syrian regime troops battled rebels in central Aleppo on Thursday a day after launching a ground assault backed by air power for control of the commercial capital. In addition to taking in refugees, Turkey is providing sanctuary to Syrian military defectors in a separate camp near the border where security is tighter. Senior Syrian officers have been crossing into Turkey to link up with the rebel Free Syrian Army on an almost daily basis in recent months, often accompanied by rank-and-file troops.