In the last two weeks, the number of the Syrians who have fled ongoing strikes of the US-led international coalition forces and crossed the border into Turkey’s southeastern Sanliurfa province have reached nearly 15,000, said official sources on Friday.
The US-led coalition forces have been continuing air strike operations against ISIS in northeast Syria.
‘’There is still another group of Syrians waiting along the border in Akcakale district in Sanliurfa,’’ the Turkish Prime Ministry Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) said.
The air strikes, that target ISIS’ positions in northeastern Syria, especially carried out in Rasulayn district of Hasakah province. Clashes between some Kurdish and ISIS fighters were also reported in the region.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused the West of supporting the outlawed Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK) and its Syrian affiliate, the Democratic Union Party (PYD). He said the West destabilises Syria by bombing Arabs and Turkmens in the country, questioning the effectiveness of bombing raids by the coalition forces aimed at degrading ISIS.
"The West, which has shot Arabs and Turkmens, is unfortunately placing the PYD [the political wing of the YPG] and the PKK in lieu of them," President Erdogan said in a speech at the Ankara chamber of commerce on Thursday.
Hasakah, home to a majority Kurdish population, is co-run between regime loyal forces and Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), the Syrian branch of the PKK, an outlawed group recognised as a terrorist organisation by the US, the EU, and Turkey.
Syria’s civil war has lasted for over four years. Over 220,000 Syrians have died since 2011, while over 7 million have been externally displaced, mainly residing in Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt.
Turkey has been already hosting 1.8 million Syrians and have spent about 5.5 billion dollars for them at its own expense. Some 300 million dollars [has come] from the international community.