Syrian civilians allowed into Turkey as Kurds combat ISIS in border city

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Displaced Syrian family that fled ISIS violence. Photo: ARA News

ARA News

Urfa, Turkey – Thousands of displaced Syrians, who have been stranded for days on the border line with Turkey in Raqqa province, northeastern Syria, were allowed into the Turkish territory on Sunday, passing through the official grossing, eyewitnesses reported.

Hundreds of Syrian refugees entered Turkey after fleeing intense violence, as Kurdish forces are combatting militants of the Islamic State (IS/ISIS) near the border city of Tel Abyad (Gire Spi) north of Raqqa. 

Tel Abyad’s crossing links Turkey with the hardline group’s de facto capital of Raqqa.

A displaced woman told ARA News that IS group still prevents the displaced people from reaching the crossing.

The source added that she and her children are now stranded in the so-called “Forbidden Zone” at the border waiting for entry, pointing out that the city of Tel Abyad is now evacuated completely of civilians, amid continues U.S.-led strikes on IS locations inside the city.

Meanwhile, eyewitnesses reported that the Turkish army brought reinforcements near the crossing of Tel Abyad, including tanks and armored vehicles, in preparation for any emergency.

The Turkish agency of al-Anadol reported earlier on Sunday that IS militants are in control of Tel Abyad and prevent the displaced Syrians from reaching the Turkish Akçakale crossing. 

Kurdish military sources told ARA News that the U.S.-led coalition’s warplanes continue bombing IS targets within the city, which helped the joint forces to open the road from al-Mardoom area to the city of Tel Abyad, preparing for a military operation against the radical group in the city.

Regaining Tel Abyad would enable Kurdish forces open a direct line between Kurdish-controlled territories along the border with Turkey, linking Kurdish-held areas in Hasakah province to the west with Kobane to the east.

 

Reporting by: Redwan Bizar and Jan Nasro

Source: ARA News

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