Turkish border guards kill two civilians near Syria’s Tel Abyad

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Turkish border guards seen near Syria's Hasakah province. Photo: ARA News

ARA News

TEL ABYAD The Turkish border police opened fire on a group of Syrian civilians who have been trying to cross into Turkey after fleeing Raqqa province on Thursday. At least two civilians were killed and several others injured, activists and eyewitnesses told ARA News.

A group of 12 civilians were trying to cross the border into Turkey from the Kurdish-populated village of Fwelan in the vicinity of Tel Abyad city in the northern countryside of Raqqa, when the Turkish border guards opened fire.

“Two of them were killed and five others were injured,” media activist Hambervan Kousa told ARA News in Tel Abyad. 

The injured were transferred to the Tel Abyad national hospital for treatment. “One of the injured is in a critical condition,” the source said.

“It was not possible to pull the bodies of the two victims as the Turkish forces continued firing,” an eyewitness told ARA News.

Turkey has closed all its border gates with Syria’s Kurdish region of Rojava, which forced civilians to seek alternative routes in order to cross the border looking for a safe haven. Dozens have been killed by the Turkish border guards over the past two years, mostly Syrian Kurds. 

Barrier Wall 

In the meantime, the Turkish authorities started building a barrier wall on its southern border near the Syrian Kurdish city of Kobane, while activists say that the Turkish move comes in a bid to cut off communication between Kurds on both sides of the border.

On Sunday, thousands of people in Kobane, including officials of the Rojava administration, protested near the border to condemn the Turkish move. 

The Rojava Self-Administration issued a statement condemning the Turkish barrier wall project, and called on the international community to take action and stop the Turkish violations on the border with Syria. 

“The Self-Administration in the Kobane canton condemns this aggression by the Turkish state against the people of our region. We appeal to the international community to break its silence and put pressure on the Turkish government to stop those violations,” it said. 

“We gathered here today to condemn the barrier wall project launched by Erdogan and his government,” Zaibar Kurdi, one of the Kobane protesters, told ARA News on the border with Turkey. “We hereby tell them you may build a barrier wall that may reach the sky, but you’ll never be able to separate our people.” 

The Turkish barrier wall project is being implemented from the Mursitpinar crossing with a depth of 20m inside the Rojava territory in northern Syria.

“Our protest is aimed to deliver a message of condemnation to the Turkish government for this clear violation. This racist barrier wall is meant to hit the Kurdish people and separate them from each other in northern and western Kurdistan,” protester Muhammad Ahmed told ARA News in Kobane.

This is not the first time for Turkey to build such a barrier wall on its borders with Syria’s Kurdish region. A similar wall has been built near the cities of Qamishli, Derik and Afrin.

Speaking to ARA News, director of the Kobane Health Commission, Hikmat Ahmed, said: “Turkey has been training and funding ISIS terrorists for years, and after its agenda has failed it started to invade our region with tanks and warplanes. At 05:00AM this morning the Turkish forces bombed the Amarna village and injured innocent civilians who are now being treated in Amal hospital in Kobane. And now building this barrier wall shows the Turkish attempt to separate our people.”

“We strongly condemn those actions,” he said.

Reporting by: Qehreman Miste and Enwer Omar

Source: ARA News

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