9000 refugees enter Turkey from Syria in last week, US fighter died fighting ISIS

9000 refugees enter Turkey from Syria in last week, US fighter died fighting ISIS
by Martin Jay

11 June 2015 | 11:02

Source: by Martin Jay and agencies

  • by Martin Jay
  • Source: Martin Jay and agencies
  • Last update: 11 June 2015 | 11:02

Fresh swathes of fighting between ISIS and Kurdish forces are intensifying Turkey's refugee crisis which Ankara complains has cost it $5.5bn dollars since the beginning of the Syrian war.

More than 2,000 refugees crossed from Syria into Turkey on Wednesday, fleeing clashes pitting Kurdish fighters against the Islamic State (IS) group, a Turkish official said.

"Of those displaced, 686 are Iraqi nationals who first fled their country and then were forced to flee Syria," a Turkish official told AFP.

They left their war-torn country via the Turkish border post of Akcakale, which faces the IS-held Syrian town of Tel Abyad, the official said.

Nearly 9,000 refugees have entered Turkey since last week, the official added.
Kurdish forces launched an offensive two weeks ago against the IS, and took over a dozen villages either side of Raqa.
They aim to wrest control of Tel Abyad border crossing in order to free up passage from Kobane, on the Turkish frontier, to Qamishli which is close to the Iraqi border.

News of the exodus coincide with report on Wednesday of an American man who had been killed in Syria, probably fighting for the Kurds against ISIS – although the State Department would not confirm that he died fighting alongside Kurdish forces against the Islamic State group.

Spokesman Jeff Rathke confirmed the death of Keith Broomfield, but refused to offer further details about the circumstances or when it occurred, according to AFP.
NBC News earlier reported on the death of the 36-year-old Broomfield, citing a Kurdish official in Kobane as saying the US citizen died in a battle with IS jihadists in the area.

Reports said he may have been fighting with the Kurdish People's Protection Unit (YPG), which is battling the Islamic State group in northern Syria.

Turkey's relations with Syria spiraled downwards after a 2011 uprising escalated from peaceful demonstrations to a bloody civil war.

More than 1.8 million Syrians have fled their country for Turkey, making it the country that has taken in the highest number of refugees in the region.
The Turkish government said in April it has spent almost 5.5 billion dollars to provide for these refugees, complaining that it received little international support.

 

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