600 Kurdish civilians stranded at Turkish border after escaping ISIS

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Displaced Kurdish civilians from Tel Abyad. File photo

ARA News

Urfa, Turkey ــ Militant fighters of the Islamic State (IS/ISIS) attacked Monday some 600 Kurdish citizen stranded at the Turkish borderline near Tel Abyad in Raqqa provimce, northeastern Syria, eyewitnesses reported.

IS insurgents forced hundreds of Kurdish civilians to leave their villages in the western countryside of Tel Abyad.

The displaced families tried to cross the Turkish border after escaping IS threats, but the Turkish border guards refused to open the crossing. At least 600 Kurdish civilians have been stranded at the Turkish borderline since Saturday, facing attacks by IS extremists. 

“During their escape from IS terrorists to the Turkish borderline, the Turkish border guards attacked the Kurdish families with tear gas, after preventing them from crossing. At the same time, IS terrorists opened fire on them from northern Tel Abyad,” eyewitnesses told ARA News.

“Dozens are injured, some of them are in critical conditions amid lack of any medical aid. If the international community won’t intervene to help those civilians to cross the border, we may witness a new massacre by IS terrorists and at the sight of Turkish border guards.”   

According to the source, the majority of those stranded at the Turkish border are women and children.

The displaced families descend from the villages of Shaaba, Shatt Rahman, Hijaziya and Khatooniya in the western countryside of Tel Abyad, north of Raqqa. 

“IS terrorists obliged dozens of Kurdish families to evacuate their villages wet of Tel Abyad on Saturday. Women, children and elderly were forced to head to the Turkish border for fear of mass execution by the radical group, whose militants threatened to burn the houses with its inhabitants in those villages,” a local source said. 

A media activist told ARA News in Tel Abyad (on the condition of anonymity for security concerns) that the IS militants who were involved in the displacement of the Kurdish families “are mostly local tribal Arabs who have recently pledged allegiance to the Caliph al-Baghdadi”. 

“Apparently, those local militants of IS seized the opportunity to displace Kurdish civilians from the area,” the source said.

“A wave of hostility has emerged between Arabs and Kurds of Tel Abyad since the outbreak of the Syrian crisis four years ago. Arab tribal forces worked alongside Islamists since they took over Tel Abyad, and later they pledged allegiance to the Islamic State. Now they are trying to use the power given to them by ISIS against local Kurds,” he added. 

Kurdish civilians in ISIS-held areas are accused of supporting Kurdish forces of the YPG –who have been combatting the group for more than two years in northern Syria. 

 

Reporting by: Redwan Bizar

Source: ARA News

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