Turkish forces open fire on Syrian Kurds trying to cross border

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Turkish border guards. File photo

ARA News

QAMISHLI Turkish border guards opened fire on Kurdish civilians trying to cross the border into Turkey in a bid to escape war-torn Syria, local sources reported Saturday. 

At least one civilian was killed and two others were injured when the Turkish border police opened fire on them on Saturday midnight. 

“The victims were trying to cross the border into Turkey after escaping the Qelika village in the Kurdish Afrin district. But the merciless Turkish forces shot them, killing a 35-year-old man [identified as Ahmed Abdo] and injuring at least two others,” said Walida Hassan, head of Human Rights Commission in Cezire canton in northern Syria.

“Those unarmed civilians were trying to find a safe haven after fleeing Afrin where radical Islamists continue to bombard Kurdish villages and towns. However, the brutality of the Turkish forces has apparently exceeded that of terrorist groups in Syria,” Hassan told ARA News.

“We hereby demand the international community to intervene and stop the Turkey’s violations against basic human rights,” she said.

This comes just one week after a civilian was killed in Syria’s border city of Ras al-Ain, also known as Serekaniye in Kurdish, after being shot by Turkish border guards while trying to cross into the Turkish territories. Khalil Daoud, 25, from the town of Alouk [5 kilometers east of Serekaniye city in Hasakah province], was killed while trying to enter Turkey last Monday.

Turkish government continues building the separation wall along its borderline with Syria allegedly for security reasons and to prevent terror attacks.

In early 2015, Turkey closed its border to all but seriously injured Syrian asylum seekers.

Also, in the town of Tel Abyad some civilians were injured or even killed, when they tried to cross the border. In the night, there is the regular sound of gunfire, when smugglers try to smuggle civilians across the border.

Human rights organizations have criticized the decision by Turkey to not allow civilians fleeing the Syrian conflict to go to Turkey.

Last May, Human Rights Watch (HRW) called on Turkey to open it’s borders.

“Its [Turkish] border guards have killed Syrian asylum seekers and pushed others back into the world’s worst war zone,” said Gerry Simpson, senior refugee researcher at Human Rights Watch. 

“Governments and UN agencies should end their deafening silence on Turkey’s abuse of Syrian asylum seekers and press Turkey to reopen its border to civilians fleeing the horrors in Syria,” he added.

Reporting by: Ahmed Shiwesh

Source: ARA News

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