‘Turkey tries to expel Kurds from Tel Abyad crossing to help ISIS export its oil to black market’: Kurdish official

Official spokesman of the YPG Redur Khalil (R) speaking in a press conference in Qamishli. Photo: ARA News

ARA News 

TEL ABYAD – More than 290 ISIS militants were killed in clashes with Syrian Kurdish forces in a border city in northern Raqqa province, military sources reported on Thursday.

Subsequent to fierce clashes, Kurdish forces of the People’s Protection Units (YPG) have repelled a renewed offensive by militants of the Islamic State (ISIS) in the city of Tel Abyad on Syria-Turkey border.

“The recent ISIS-led attack on Tel Abyad city in northern Raqqa was one of the fiercest offensives on the YPG-held areas north Syria,” said Redur Khalil, official YPG Spokesman.

The YPG lost 43 fighters in Tel Abyad clashes, according to its spokesman. Also, 23 civilians were reportedly executed at the hands of ISIS militants when they infiltrated into Tel Abyad suburb.

“The terror group tries to take over Tel Abyad for its strategic location on the Turkish border,” Khalil said in a press conference.

The official added that the ISIS operations in northern Raqqa were conducted with a Turkish support.

“Turkey allows ISIS terrorists move feely across its borderline with Syria to facilitate its attacks on the Kurdish positions,” the YPG spokesman said.

He emphasized that the Turkish government tries to help ISIS retake Tel Abyad border crossing “to assist the terror group export its oil to the black market via Turkey”.

“Before the Kurdish YPG forces retook Tel Abyad from ISIS jihadis in early 2015, the terror group used to export its oil tankers through this border crossing to the black market. Now ISIS tries to recapture the crossing in cooperation with Turkey,” Khalil said.

“We have repelled the attack on Tel Abyad. At least 291 ISIS terrorists were killed in the clashes, before the rest retreated towards their strongholds in Raqqa city,” the Kurdish official said. “We won’t allow ISIS take over this city, no matter how much support the group receives from its ally Turkey.”

Reporting by: Haytham Haci

Source: ARA News

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