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    A Turkish army position is seen near the Oncupinar crossing gate close to the town of Kilis, south central Turkey, close to the Syria border, on February 16, 2016

    Kurdish Militia Chief Slams Ankara for Backing Terrorists' Advance in Syria

    © AFP 2019 / BULENT KILIC
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    Turkey has been giving cover to Islamist militants and aiding them in the fight against Kurdish self-defense forces near its border with Syria, the head of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) has alleged.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Abdu Khalil, the head of YPG units in Afrin, told the RT television channel that Turkey has kept its borders with three northern Syrian provinces open to Islamists, designated as terrorist organizations by countries like Russia, Syria and the United Arab Emirates.

    "Turkey wanted to make a coalition against terrorism, but any country which would be in a coalition against terrorism should not open its borders to Al-Nusra [al-Qaeda affiliate] and Ahrar al-Sham [Nusra Front ally]," Khalil said.

    Khalil said that his troops in Afrin – which together with Jazire and Kobani make up the fledgling state of Syrian Kurdistan – have been observing Islamist forces moving freely through two Turkish-controlled border crossings in recent months.

    The YPG Afrin leader said that Turkey allowed "Al-Nusra and Ahrar al-Sham to enter from Bab al Hawa border crossing and leave Turkey from Bab al Salam into Azaz [Syrian border town near Aleppo] to let them back into Syria."

    On one occasion, the Turkish army cut off the electricity supply to the area around the Syrian town of Tel Abyad, near the Turkish border, in preparation for a Daesh onslaught.

    "Before ISIS [Daesh] started attacking Tel Abyad, the Turkish army used Dushkas [machine guns] to fight against the YPG. After the shooting, the electricity was shut down across the border for 20 minutes so that ISIS could pass through the borders to the Tel Abyad area," Khalil said.

    This was done "in order to cut the connection between Kobani and Jazire," Khalil asserted. Turkey has been doing "the impossible" to prevent the three Kurdish regions from connecting, he said.

    Turkey has been shelling YPG positions in northern Syria since February to stop Kurds from seizing ground in the area, also claimed by Daesh, the Nusra Front and their allies. Khalil told RT that the Turkish bombardments had not stopped militias from reconnecting Jazire and Kobani.

    "The road between Kobani and Jazire is open, between those two districts there is commerce flowing," he said, adding the regions had everything they needed for self-governance.

    The militia leader lashed out at Turkey for its attempts to disconnect the bases of Kurdish self-defense forces in Syria, saying the YPG would come out in full force to stop Turkey if it tried to invade Syria.

    "We will be against the Turkish troops on the ground whether they’re [with] Saudi[s] or whoever is with them. Once they are inside Syrian land trying to prevent our districts from connecting we will be against them with everything we have," he said.

    Khalil claimed that some Turkish nationals had already crossed the border to fight Kurds alongside the UN-banned Nusra Front.

    "Some of the corpses we found on the battlefield that belong to al-Nusra were of Turkish origin and even we found IDs and passports and the [boxes of] ammo we found in their warehouses… they were closed and stamped by the Turkish government," he said, adding that the boxes contained clearance documents issued by Turkish border control.

    Ankara considers the YPG to be an ally of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), a separatist movement fighting for Kurdish self-determination in southeastern Turkey.


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    terrorism, The Syrian war, Daesh, Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), Al-Nusra Front, Abdu Khalil, Turkey, Syria
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