The villagers report that ISIS gangs have been crossing from Jarablus into Turkey in groups of ten to 15 people using private vehicles for transportation.
Although Turkish media is covering the Turkish state’s occupation of Jarablus, Syria as a ‘great military operation,’ the villagers of Jarablus state that there is a military deployment in the region, not an active operation.
After declaring a curfew in Karkamis, Tukey across the border from Jarablus and evacuating the town, the Turkish state announced that it launched a military operation code-named ‘Euphrates Shield.’ However, the villagers of Jarablus and the footage that are recorded in the region refute the claims of Turkey of a large-scale operation.
ISIS gangs are reported to have evacuated four villages and handed them over to gangs affiliated with Turkey.
A resident of Jarablus’ Karakuyu village, who did not want to share his or her name, stated that Karakuyu is located 12-13 kms away from Jarablus center and there were no clashes in the town center where only ISIS members remain. The villager noted that Turkish tanks are positioned in the village of Keklice located 4 kms away from Jarablus center and these tanks were not met with any resistance.
Residents of villages in Karkamis in the Turkish side of the border also stated that there were no clashes and the Turkish army’s shelling was only for show.
The villagers reported that ISIS gangs have been crossing from Jarablus into Turkey in groups of ten to 15 people and used private vehicles for transportation. The villagers stated that the gangs that arrived at Turkey were given different uniforms and sent back to Jarablus, and emphasized that Turkey’s operation was a ‘mise en scene’.
The silence in Jarablus center and the normal flow of life in Karkamis center despite the curfew strengthen the villagers’ claims that there is only a military deployment as opposed to clashes in the region. It is worth noting that Turkish state forces advance easily and without taking any precautions during their movement. The silence in Jarablus and around the border continues as the military employment near Jarablus border gate continues.
Resetting Turkey’s Syria policy, by Semih Idiz, Al-Monitor, Aug 23, 2016
… Months of speculation about Turkey inching toward a radical change in its Syrian policy have finally ended. On Aug. 20, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim officially announced Ankara’s new policy, which aims to settle the crisis with the involvement of all the key players, including Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. This about-face had been in the making since Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan hinted a year ago that a transition period in Syria could include Assad. Prior to that, Ankara had taken the hard-line position that there was no room for Assad in any shape or form in Syria’s future.
Turkey’s Jarablus gamble, ANF News, Aug 24, 2016
… Turkey, Iran and Syria taking Jarablus from ISIS with pro-Turkish groups in agreement is actually an open attempt at invasion by Turkey. The stance of international powers is not entirely clear on this matter just yet. Approximately five months ago, the U.S. allowed Turkey to open a corridor on that front, but Turkey couldn’t achieve a result despite employing all their gangs.
This time the attempt goes far beyond opening a corridor. It is a kind of invasion. The U.S., Russia and Western countries haven’t revealed their stance on this issue very clearly yet. But it seems there isn’t an agreement in place. If there had been an agreement, 5,000 people wouldn’t have been on hold in Karkamis and Havar Kilis for a week. But it’s not clear what their stance will be, or will it change or not. This will get clearer in the coming days.
People returning to their homes in Hasakah, eastern Syria, ANF News, Aug 24, 2016
Turkish-backed rebels enter Islamic State-held Syrian town of Jarablus
Turkish-backed Syrian rebels entered the Islamic State-held town of Jarablus in northern Syria on Wednesday in an operation supported by Turkish tanks, special forces units and U.S.-led coalition warplanes, rebel sources said.
A rebel commander with the Failaq al Sham group, who requested anonymity, told Reuters that most of the Islamic State fighters in Jarablus had pulled out, some of them surrendering. Another commander estimated up to 50 percent of the town was now under the control of the Turkish-backed rebels.
“Daesh (Islamic State) fighters have withdrawn from several villages on the outskirts of Jarablus and are heading south toward the city of al Bab,” the Failaq al Sham commander said. [End report.]
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