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Syria: Fresh clashes between Kurds and ISIL militants

Syria: Fresh clashes between Kurds and ISIL militants
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Kurdish fighters backed by the Free Syrian Army attempted to hold back the advance of ISIL militants close to a strategic Syrian border town on Saturday.

Calling themselves Islamic State or ISIL, the jihadists have advanced on the Kurdish enclave of Kobani in recent days, as part of their insurgency across large parts of Syria and Iraq.

The siege of Kobani has fueled Kurdish anger and created the largest single outflow of refugees since the Syrian conflict began, according to the United Nations.

The fightback is complicated by the involvement of PKK rebels, the Kurdish group outlawed by Turkey.

Amid the ISIL onslaught, PKK leaders called on Turks of Kurdish origin to volunteer to fight the militants.

Added to that, allegations that Turkey is collaborating with ISIL have seen thousands of Kurdish men amass at the border, despite MP Ertugrul Kürkcu admitting they had little proof.

“We haven’t seen positive evidence to charge the Turkish government with directly joining in the ISIL operations, but Turkey’s policy and diplomacy is to isolate the revolution in Kobani,” he said.

Footage filmed at the Turkish border on Saturday showed barbed wire being cut and trampled on, creating an opening for more Kurds to enter Syria.

For Syrian refugees wanting to escape the violence, Turkey’s Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has confirmed that the checkpoints will remain open.

“We have opened our borders to our Syrian brothers and recently to our Iraqi brothers and friends. We’ve done this without questioning whether they are Arab, Kurd, Yazidi, Muslim, Christian, Shia or Sunni, we will continue to do so,” Davutoglu said.

More than 140,000 people, mainly Kurds, have crossed into Turkey in recent days.

Ankara has promised to build more camps in addition to the two dozen already assembled.