ISIS militants stoning Syrian man in Tel Abyad near the Turkish border. File photo
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Urfa, Turkey – At least 40 militants of the Islamic State group (IS/ISIS) entered into the Syrian territory through the Turkish border city of Akçakale heading to Tel Abyad (Gire Spi) after officials at the crossing recorded names, local sources reported on Thursday.
An eyewitness at Akçakale crossing told ARA News on condition of anonymity that the IS members who crossed into Syria are most probably from the group’s wounded members who received treatment in the Turkish hospitals.
Sources from Tel Abyad told ARA News (on condition of anonymity) that 300 IS members were seen in the last period wandering the city.
The sources pointed out that the group tries to raise the morale of its fighters and loyalists after the recent defeats at the hands of the joint forces (the People’s Protection Units “YPG”, FSA, and the Peshmerga), amid the advance of those forces towards the city of Tel Abyad.
“The group appoints new military commanders on the fighting fronts every week,” the sources added.
The group is gradually losing its encouragement and supporters among Arab tribes in the region amid movement of civilians displaced towards Turkey, through illegal crossings held by the group where every person is obliged to pay 3,000 SP.
Media reports have talked about the presence of nine informal crossings between the IS held areas and Turkey in the vicinity of Tel Abyad, which allows the entry of all kinds of goods, medical supplies and fuel.
ARA News has published earlier reports on the smuggling operations taking place on the Syrian-Turkish border in the villages of Gire Sor, Susik, Tel Fandar and Munbatih in the western countryside of the city of Tel Abyad.
“A number of Arab communities, who live in the IS-held villages near the Turkish border, pass the border with their cargo of tobacco on motorcycles. You can easily reach Mosul and purchases materials and come back to Turkey without any risk,” the source added.
Several local Arab tribes in Tel Abyad area have supported the IS jihadists in the displacement of Kurdish families in July 2013. They played a role in supporting the radical group financially and morally, locals stated to ARA News.
Kurdish activists accuse the Turkish authorities of coordinating with the hardline group of Islamic State at the border-line with Syria.
Reporting by: Ziwer Osman
Source: ARA News