Urfa, Turkey – The Turkish authorities called on civilians in the town of Akçakale in Şanlıurfa Province –adjacent to the Syrian city of Tel Abyad (Gire Spi)– to evacuate their houses along the border about 200 meters, in order to avoid any sudden clashes near the Syrian border, locals reported on Friday.
The Turkish government has reportedly started defensive procedures on its border with Syria in anticipation of the breakout of battles between the Kurdish fighters of the People’s Protection Units (YPG) and militant fighters of the Islamic State (IS/ISIS) –who are in control of the city (Tel Abyad).
Speaking to ARA News, a Syrian refugee in the Turkish town of Akçakale (who preferred to remain anonymous) said that imams of mosques in the town informed citizens to get away from the Syrian-Turkish border.
The state of Şanlıurfa in southern Turkey issued a statement on Friday demanding residents to evacuate border areas.
The Turkish authorities designated the areas adjacent to the Syrian border as a military zone, according to the statement.
The statement considered the area extending from Tikca until Ziyaret police station a closed military zone, to ensure the safety of citizens, and for fear of sudden clashes at the Syrian side.
In the meantime, sources in Tel Abyad told ARA News that the al-Nusra Front and the Islamic Movement of Ahrar al-Sham are recruiting Arab tribal members to fight against IS.
According to observers, Ahrar al-Sham and al-Nusra have been “infiltrated by the Turkish intelligence”. and Syrian opposition activists described those groups as no less criminal than the IS group.
Fighters of Nusra and Ahrar al-Sham took over Tel Abyad in early 2013, before losing ground to the Islamic State. The groups have reportedly led forced displacement against Kurdish civilians from Tel Abyad.
Reporting by: Redwan Bizar
Source: ARA News
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