Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) announced on Wednesday that it is building a new camp with a capacity for 55,000 refugees in anticipation of an expected wave of Syrian refugees to arrive in the near future.
AFAD officials declared that they are expecting 100,000 refugees might cross the Turkey’s Syrian border through the Oncupinar gate due to the possibility of an attack by ISIS, Turkish media has reported.
More than 23,000 civilians from Syrian villages and towns have crossed the Turkish border into the southeast province of Sanliurfa over the past three weeks, as the People’s Protection Units (YPG) along with the Free Syrian Army (FSA) forces carried out operations with the help of US-led coalition air strikes in the northeastern regions of Tal Abyad and Al Hasakah to push back the ISIS militants.
The YPG is the militant wing of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), which is considered by Turkey to be the Syrian affiliate of the outlawed PKK.
Following a decision of the National Security Council (MGK) to specify “red lines” for parties in the Syrian civil war, the Turkish government and Turkish security forces have increased security measures along the Syrian border and AFAD has intensified preparations for the extension of humanitarian aid.
Turkey has also recently raised concerns over the displacement of Turkmen and Arabs from Tal Abyad, accusing the YPG of attempting to change the “demographics in the region.”
Over 1,700 refugees have returned to Syria following calls from the PYD and FSA go back to Tal Abyad after the groups opened the border crossing with Turkey, but late PYD forces closed the crossing on the grounds that the district had been booby-trapped by ISIS militants.
They reopened the crossing on June 22 after cleaning the district. About 2,100 refugees have returned to Syria since then.