We are being forced out of Syria: Turkmen leader
Uğur Ergan - ANKARA
REUTERS PhotoThe Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), the armed wing of the Syrian Democratic Union Party (PYD), which is fighting against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), is working on a “secret plan” to rid the Syrian-Turkish border of Turkmens, said Ershad Salihi, a leading figure of the Iraqi Turkmen Front (ITF) during an interview with Hürriyet.
“Tel Abyad is a Turkmen region in Syria. First, ISIL was placed here. Turkmens were forced to live under ISIL. Then, using ISIL as a pretext, these places are being handed over to Kurds, with Turkmens being forced out of their homeland,” he said. “It is certain that this is part of a project to found a Kurdish state in the region,” he added. A similar thing is happening in Iraq’s Telafer, the Turkmen leader said, adding that he would not be surprised if Kurdish forces would attack the Iraqi city, which is under ISIL control, and Turkmens there would also be forced to migrate. “We live in concern,” he said asking for financial support to show their power to the central government in Baghdad.
“We call on Turkmen business people in Turkey and other countries to support Turkmens in the region,” he said.
His remarks came after the YPG, joined by some Free Syrian Army (FSA) forces and backed by U.S.-led airstrikes, drew ISIL from the key border town of Tel Abyad, triggering a new wave of refugees.