Displaced Kurdish families from Tel Abyad heading to the Turkish border. File photo
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Urfa, Turkey – On Saturday, militant fighters of the Islamic State (IS/ISIS) forcibly displaced dozens of Kurdish families from the western countryside of Tel Abyad city (Gire Spi) in the province of Raqqa, northeastern Syria, local activists reported.
Speaking to ARA News on the phone, an eyewitness (who conditioned anonymity) said that people of the Shaaba, Shatt Rahman, Hijaziya and Khatooniya villages (17 km west of Tel Abyad) arrived in the Turkish border line after being expelled by ISIS.
“ISIS terrorists obliged dozens of Kurdish families to evacuate their villages wet of Tel Abyad on Saturday. Women, children and elderly were forced to head to the Turkish border for fear of mass execution by ISIS, whose militants threatened to burn the houses with its inhabitants in those villages,” the source said.
A local media activist told ARA News in Tel Abyad that the IS militants who were involved in the displacement of the Kurdish families “are mostly local tribal Arabs who have recently pledged allegiance to the Caliph al-Baghdadi”.
“Apparently, those local militants of IS seized the opportunity to displace Kurdish civilians from the area,” the source said.
“A wave of hostility has emerged between Arabs and Kurds of Tel Abyad since the outbreak of the Syrian crisis four years ago. Arab tribal forces worked alongside Islamists since they took over Tel Abyad, and later they pledged allegiance to the Islamic State. Now they are trying to use the power given to them by ISIS against local Kurds,” he added.
Kurdish civilians in ISIS-held areas are accused of supporting Kurdish forces of the YPG –who have been combatting the group for more than two years in northern Syria.
on July 21, 2013, Tel Abyad’s Kurdish inhabitants were subjected to several displacement campaigns by factions of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), the Islamic Movement of Ahrar ash-Sham and other allied factions. However, the current wave of displacement is considered the largest, as entire villages and towns in the vicinity of Tel Abyad were completely evacuated from its Kurdish population.
Reporting by: Redwan Bizar
Source: ARA News