Turkey carefully watches Kurdish movement on border
ŞIRNAK - Doğan News Agency (DHA)
DHA video grab shows Kurdish soldiers marching toward the Syrian border.A video published by Doğan News Agency (DHA) today reportedly showed thousands of Kurdish soldiers marching toward the Syrian border in northern Iraq as Turkey deployed troops along to its own border with its war-torn neighbor.
A cell phone video recording published today showed alleged Kurdish soldiers walking in two rows on the sides of a road toward the border between northern Iraq and Syria today. The soldiers, apparently unarmed, were flanked by armed guards who held high positions along the road.
Some soldiers reportedly yelled "we march to Qamishli, we are on our way to take Qamishli.”
The leader of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq, Masoud Barzani, confirmed that they had been training young Kurdish men who had deserted the Syrian army and had fled to northern Iraq.
The "fighting force" has not yet crossed into Syria, Barzani said. "They are still here. They can only go if the high council allows them. If not, they will wait for things to settle down. But they will eventually go back to Syria, because that is where they are from," he said.
Barzani said Kurdish men were being trained to fill a possible security vacuum in "Western Kurdistan" in the event the Syrian army withdraws from there, according to DHA.
Turkey moving troops to border
The Turkish Armed Forces have shipped a large number of soldiers to its border with Syria today. Around 200 civilian minibuses transported soldiers from garrisons in the Cizre district of the southeastern province of Şırnak to the Nusaybin district in Mardin province – roughly 100 kilometers to the west along the Syrian border.
Turkish gunships are making frequent patrol and reconnaissance flights along the Syrian border, according to reports.
Nusaybin is situated directly across from Qamishli.