Turkey equips Syrian rebels to storm ISIS-held city of Tel Abyad

Syrian displaced civilians entering the border crossing of Akçakale at the Turkish-Syrian border. File photo

ARA News

Urfa, Turkey – The Turkish authorities have been trying to preserve their 800-long border with the war-torn neighbor Syria in the past four years, especially that most of border crossings have been under Islamists’ control since the beginning of the Syrian crisis.

Speaking to ARA News, the former media spokesman of al-Krad Front Brigade of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), Ahmed Hisso, said that the Turkish authorities have recently failed to intervene in the border city of Tel Abyad in Raqqa province, northeastern Syria, “despite frequent attempts”.

The 10th division of the FSA, supported by Turkish authorities, failed to penetrate into the city of Tel Abyad, the main IS-held border city with Turkey in Syria’s northeast.

“The Turkish authorities have recognized its losses in Kobane and Tel Abyad,” Hisso argued. 

Last February, Turkey supported the establishment of the 10th division force of the FSA, which consists of 1700 soldiers ــmost of them are former fighters of al-Nusra Front and the Ahrar ash-Sham rebels. The majority of fighters of the new faction descend from the Syrian northeastern provinces of Deir ez-Zor, Raqqa, and Hasakah, local Kurdish activists told ARA News.

“Turkey also rushed to provide them with needed logistics, and distributed them on the borders of Tel Abyad after quipping them with light and medium weapons,” Hisso said. 

The source also pointed out that Turkey, after failing to militarily intervene in Tel Abyad, “it seeks to control the city administratively through the Civil Turkmen Board”. 

“There is an Arab-Kurdish-Turkmen agreement about the administration of Tel Abyad after its liberation from the Islamic State (IS/ISIS).”

In the meantime, the former spokesman of al-Akrad Front said that the joint forces (the People’s Protection Units “YPG” and Burkan al-Furat rebels) and the U.S.-led international coalition will cooperate to liberate Tel Abyad, “which will help in opening the road between Kobane and Hasakah.” 

The joint forces continue advancement toward the city of Tel Abyad, coming from Kubane in the province of Aleppo, and from Sere Kaniye (Ras al-Ain) in Hasakah province, in northeastern Syria, to remove the IS radical group from the area.


Reporting by: Redwan Bizar

Source: ARA News

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