Update: The refugees running away from the town of Tel-Abyad (Syria) will be accepted by Turkey today.
A meeting took place between the local administration and the military, and it was decided to communicate to Ankara the severity of the situation: mortar fire has reached a dangerous level.
Akçakale Border is now getting ready to accept the estimated 3-5K Syrian civilians.
(Original Report) Thousands of refugees are fleeing the fighting in Syria as Kurdish forces (YPG) make advancements onto the ISIS stronghold of Tal Abyad. YPG has advanced to about 6 miles from Tal Abyad and the fleeing residents don’t want to be caught up in the violence.
In just the past ten days 13,000 refugees have crossed the border at Akcakale, Turkey prompting the closure of the crossing. Since 2011 Turkey has taken in almost 2 million Syrian refugees. More than any other nation.
Thousands of residents of Tal Abyad trekked to the border with all the possessions they could carry Saturday only to find it closed. The video below shows refugees pleading for entry along the border crossing fence and Turkish forces who use blasts from a water cannon to deter them.
In the evening ISIS fighters appeared and began ordering the people back to town. The loss of Tal Abyad would be a major blow to ISIS. Exact reasons unclear, but it’s being speculated that the presence of the civilians would help ISIS deter the Kurdish forces advancement.
— الرقة تذبح بصمت (@Raqqa_Sl) June 13, 2015
Syrian refugees begging at the border as Turkish soldiers use water cannon. A statement by the main Syrian Kurdish fighting force, known as the YPG, said its fighters have encircled the ISIS-held town of Suluk, a few miles southwest of the strategically important town of Tal Abyad. It said ISIS militants have ‘lost control’ over Suluk and Kurdish forces were advancing toward Tal Abyad. It also said the road linking Tal Abyad with Raqqa was under YPG control. Turkish forces standing meters away, did nothing. In the video we see members of ISIS are rounding up the refugees and escorting them back to town. It has been reported that many of these same refugees have returned to the crossing for the night. YPG Spokesman Redur Xelîl’s called out to civilians fleeing Tel Abyad instructing them to head to the interior towns of Al Hasaka and Sere Kaniye. Ensuring people that their safety and needs will be met there.