Turkish forces push massing Syrians from border
AKÇAKALE - Agence France-Presse
Thousands of Syrians run away from center Tal Abyad after they heart Kurdish fighters are coming at the Turkish Akçakale crossing gate in Şanlıurfa province, on June 13, 2015. AFP PHOTO / BULENT KILICTurkish security forces on June 13 used water cannon and fired warning shots to push Syrians away from the frontier as thousands massed at a border crossing to escape escalating fighting, an AFP photographer said.
The Syrians were waiting behind the barbed wire fences that mark the border around the Turkish crossing of Akçakale in the southeast of the country.
They were escaping escalating fighting between Kurdish forces and Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) jihadists for control of the Syrian town of Tel Abyad which lies just across the Turkish border.
The Turkish forces used water cannon and fired warning shots into the air to keep the Syrians away from the border fences, the correspondent said.
With more Syrians still arriving from Tel Abyad, tensions remained high. The Turkish forces were not allowing any Syrians through the border gate.
Turkey had said on Thursday it was taking measures to limit the flow of Syrian refugees onto its territory after an influx of thousands more over the last days due to the fighting between Kurds and jihadists.
Under an "open-door" policy championed by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey has taken in 1.8 million Syrian refugees since the conflict in Syria erupted in 2011.
But Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş said at Akçakale on June 11 that new entries would only be considered in case of a humanitarian tragedy.
Officials have said that Turkey had taken in over 13,500 refugees over the last days escaping the fighting for Tel Abyad.