Schools closed in Turkish town as clashes rage near Syria border
DHA photoSchools were closed on Jan. 9 in the town of Akçakale in the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa following clashes between Syrian rebels and al-Qaeda-linked militants near the border.
Authorities bolstered security measures along the border and armored vehicles have been deployed to border posts after a shell landed near a Turkish crossing. Jihadists battling rebels in northern Syria fought yesterday to recover lost turf nearly a week after a new front opened in the conflict gripping the country.
The fighting comes a day after the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) was expelled from Aleppo by rebels fighting to topple President Bashar al-Assad.
Meanwhile, a massive car bomb blast in the central province of Hama killed at least 18 people, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
In the city of Raqa, fighting raged near the governorate building, which ISIL has used for several months as its headquarters. While the rebels in Raqa appeared to be advancing, ISIL was fighting back in the countryside, especially in the border town of Tal Abyad, adjacent to Akçakale, from which they were expelled earlier this week.
ISIL is believed to be detaining hundreds of activists, rival rebels and foreigners, including journalists, at several bases in the Raqa province.
Activists say Raqa has become “a city of ghosts,” with bodies in the streets and people afraid to leave their houses because of the violence.