Friday, September 19, 2014

Turkey opens border crossing for Syrians escaping ISIL/ISIS

ŞANLIURFA. --Scores of Syrians gathering on Turkish border for the last two days after fleeing attacks from Islamic State and the Levant (ISIL) began crossing the border into Turkey on Friday midday.
Their numbers had been growing over the last two days as they waited for permission to cross at the border district of Tal Abyad in Raqqa city. 
Syrians are now gathering in district in the city of Sanliurfa, called Suruc.

From there they will be transferred to an empty school building in the village of Oylum.
Meanwhile, the fighting lingers in Ayn al-Arab area of Raqqa between militants led by ISIL and Kurdish PYD forces.

Six Syrians including three women were taken to Sanliurfa's Suruc State Hospital and placed under medical treatment there. 

Syria has been plagued by quasi-constant fighting since the regime launched a violent crackdown in response to anti-government protests in March 2011. 

The ensuing conflict spiraled into a civil war and has proved to become a breeding ground for ISIL-led militants, who have since gained control of large parts of Syria and Iraq.
The U.N. has stopped updating its death toll for the country because an official count had become too difficult to verify. At least 100,000 deaths were recorded in the last official count, in July 2013.


  1. Syrian Kurds fleeing Islamic State cross border into Turkey...

    (Reuters) - Several thousand Syrian Kurds began crossing into Turkey on Friday fleeing Islamic State fighters who advanced into their villages, prompting warnings of massacres from Kurdish leaders.

    Islamic State (IS) fighters have seized villages in northern Syria over the past two days and are besieging the mainly Kurdish town of Ayn al-Arab, known as Kobani in Kurdish, on the Turkish border.

    Their advance comes as the United States draws up plans for military action in Syria against the Sunni Muslim extremist group which has seized swathes of territory in Syria and Iraq and seeks to set up an Islamic caliphate in the heart of the Middle East............

  2. Izzettin Kucuk, the governor of Sanliurfa province, says Turkey decided to permit the Syrians to cross over Friday after reports emerged that militants were closing in on their communities. A day earlier, Turkish authorities refused entry....

    The Islamic State group has taken over more than 20 Kurdish villages since Wednesday in northeastern Syria as the extremists try to crush one of the last pockets of resistance against their rule there, the Kurdish-controlled area known as Kobani.

    Turkey is already home to nearly 850,000 registered Syrian refugees.

  3. Turkish hostages held by IS in Iraq released...

    Dozens of Turkish hostages seized by Islamic State (IS) in the north Iraqi city of Mosul in June are now back in Turkey, PM Ahmet Davutoglu says.

    The 49 hostages included diplomats and their families as well as soldiers.

    They were seized from Turkey's consulate after IS militants seized Mosul in a rapid advance in June.

    Turkey has refused direct involvement in the military campaign against IS partly because of fears over the hostages' safety.

    Mr Davutoglu said that the hostages were all in good health and that they were released early on Saturday.

    They were being taken to the southern Turkish city of Sanliurfa by the Turkish intelligence agency, he added.

  4. 49 Turkish hostages released in northern Iraq...

    Dozens of Turkish nationals held hostage by so-called Islamic State jihadists in northern Iraq for more than three months have been released and brought to Turkey, Turkish prime minister Ahmet Davutoglu said.

    "Early in the morning our citizens were handed over to us and we brought them back into our country. At 5.00am they entered the country," Mr Davutoglu told reporters during an official visit to Azerbaijan, adding that all were in good health.

    IS jihadists kidnapped 49 Turks including diplomats, children and special forces from the Turkish consulate in Mosul on 11 June as they captured swathes of northern Iraq.

    Mr Davutoglu said he was cutting short his Baku trip to meet the hostages in the southern Turkish city of Sanliurfa near the Syrian border.

    Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the release of the hostages was part of a "pre-planned operation" by Turkish intelligence.

    Turkey, a NATO member and the United State's key ally in the region, has been reluctant to take part in combat operations against ISmilitants, or allow a US-led coalition to use its airbases for strikes against the jihadists, citing its concern over for the safety of the hostages.

    18 IS fighters killed in northern Syria

    Meanwhile, at least 18 Islamic State fighters were killed with overnight clashes with Kurdish fighters in northern Syria, according to the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

    The monitoring group said the 18 militants, including one reportedly of Chinese nationality, were killed in fighting near the town of Ain al-Arab, known to the Kurds as Kobane.

    The Observatory said yesterday that IS fighters had seized 60 Kurdish villages near the Turkish border in a lightning two-day campaign as they close in on Ain al-Arab.......................

  5. Libération des otages turcs enlevés dans le nord de l'Irak....

    Les 49 citoyens turcs détenus depuis juin en otage par les jihadistes de l'organisation de l'État islamique en Irak ont été libérés. Ils ont regagné samedi matin sains et saufs la Turquie, selon le Premier ministre turc Ahmet Davutoglu.

    Les 49 ressortissants turcs enlevés en juin dans le nord de l'Irak par les jihadistes de l'organisation de l'État islamique ont pu être rapatriés sains et saufs en Turquie par les services de renseignement, a annoncé samedi 20 septembre le Premier ministre turc Ahmet Davutoglu, sans donner de précisions sur les conditions de leur libération.

    Les ex-otages parmi lesquels se trouvent des diplomates, des militaires et des enfants avaient été faits prisonniers au consulat turc de Mossoul en juin 2014. Ils sont acheminés à Sanliurfa, dans le sud de la Turquie, précise le chef du gouvernement qui doit abréger une visite en Azerbaïdjan pour aller à leur rencontre.

    Depuis des semaines, la stratégie de la Turquie, pays membre de l'Otan, face à la menace du mouvement radical sunnite responsable de viols, rapts, exécutions et persécutions en Syrie et en Irak, est au coeur de toutes les interrogations..................

  6. Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Saturday 49 hostages seized by Islamic State group militants in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul in June have been brought safely back to Turkey by the country’s intelligence agency...

    The hostages, including Turkish diplomats, soldiers and children, were seized from Turkey’s consulate-general in June. Davutoglu said they were being brought to the southern Turkish city of Sanliurfa and that he would travel back from Azerbaijan, where he is on an official visit, to meet them.

    “Today at 5 am we brought our citizens who were detained in Iraq to our country. From my heart, I thank the families who maintained their dignity,” Davutoglu said on his Twitter account. He also thanked Turkey’s MIT intelligence agency.

    The seizure of the hostages had left Turkey, a member of the NATO military alliance and a key US ally in the Middle East, hamstrung in its response to the threat from Islamic State fighters over its southern borders in Iraq and Syria..................

  7. Thousands of Syrian Kurds flee to Turkey as Islamic State advances...

    SURUC Turkey - Tens of thousands of Syrian Kurds have crossed into Turkey in the past 24 hours, fleeing an advance by Islamic State fighters who have seized dozens of villages close to the border and are advancing on a Syrian town.

    Turkey opened a stretch of the frontier on Friday after Kurdish civilians fled their homes, fearing an imminent attack on the border town of Ayn al-Arab. Islamic State is now within 15 km (9 miles) of the town, also known as Kobani, according to a Kurdish commander on the ground.

    Islamic State's advances in northern Syria have prompted calls for help by the region's Kurds who fear a massacre in Kobani. The town sits in a strategic position on the border and has prevented the radical Sunni Muslim militants from consolidating their gains across northern Syria.

    "Clashes started in the morning and we fled by car. We were 30 families in total," said Lokman Isa, 34, a farmer who had crossed into Turkey.

    He said Islamic State fighters entered his village, Celebi, with heavy weapons, while the Kurdish forces battling them only had light arms.

    "They have destroyed every place they have gone to. We saw what they did in Iraq in Sinjar and we fled in fear," he told Reuters in the Turkish town of Suruc, where Turkish authorities were setting up a camp.

    Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus told CNN Turk television on Saturday that 45,000 Syrian Kurds had crossed a 30-km section of the border since Turkey opened it on Friday.............


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