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Turkish forces clash with relatives of Syrian Kurds fleeing ISIL

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Turkish forces clash with relatives of Syrian Kurds fleeing ISIL


Tensions have been rising along Turkey’s border with Syria as thousands of people, mostly Syrian Kurds, continue to flee advancing ISIL extremists.

On the Turkish side security forces fired water cannon and tear gas to disperse relatives of the refugees.

Authorities temporarily closed the border as people massed on the Syrian side.

Police in riot gear are said to have been pelted with stones.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says he has discussed creating a buffer zone along the Syrian border with US President Barack Obama and NATO allies.

He has also denied that a ransom was paid for the release of Turkish hostages held by ISIL – the self-styled Islamic State – in Iraq.

“Syrian Kurds flooded into Turkey on Saturday“ About 70,000 are said to have crossed the border in 24 hours.

Some said they had been tyrannised by ISIL. A Kurdish politician who visited Syria said locals had told him that the extremists were beheading people as they went from village to village.

“Rather than a war this is a genocide operation … They are going into the villages and cutting the heads of one or two people and showing them to the villagers,” Ibrahim Binici, a deputy for Turkey’s pro-Kurdish HDP, told Reuters.

ISIL has been advancing on Ayn al-Arab, known as Kobani in Kurdish.

The Syrian border town is in a strategic position and has so far prevented the Sunni militants from consolidating their gains.

Meanwhile Kurdish militants have issued a new call to arms to defend the town from the ISIL.

The PKK or Kurdistan Workers’ Party, which has long fought for autonomy for Turkish Kurds, has called on young men in southeast Turkey to “flow in waves” to Kobani to stop “ISIL fascism”.

The United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) and the Turkish authorities said they were preparing for the possibility of hundreds of thousands more refugees arriving in the coming days.

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