Germany's Merkel backs Ankara’s refugee initiative in Syria's Idlib

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has signalled Berlin’s intention to provide funds for Ankara’s plans to build shelters for refugees displaced by fighting in Syria’s Idlib province, German broadcaster Deutsche Welle reported on Friday.

Merkel has said Germany is willing to support efforts to build shelters in northern Syria for refugees displaced by fighting in Syria’s last rebel stronghold of Idlib, it reported.

"I can imagine that we can provide German funds for this humanitarian action," Merkel said, falling short of providing figures.

Turkish aid groups have begun the construction of more than 10,000 houses in Idlib to shelter the growing number of people displaced by the fighting. Ankara seeks to prevent a new influx of migrants across its border.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday also warned that 400,000 refugees displaced by fighting in the province are heading towards the Turkish border.

Renewed fighting between the Russian military, regime forces and rebel militant groups in the area has triggered a new exodus of refugees, Erdoğan said on Friday.

The Turkish president urged the international community to impose significant pressure on the regime to stop its "brutality".

Turkey is home to 3.6 million refugees, which has cost the country more than $40 billion until now according to figures announced by the government.