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Today at about 11:00 a.m. local time a large group of Syrians, reportedly in the hundreds, tried to cross into Turkey at the Akçakale border crossing (36°42'28.39"N 38°57'28.32"E) which is across the border from the rebel controlled Syrian border crossing in Tel Abyad.

The Syrians reportedly did not have passports, were refused entry by the Turkish officials at the border, and were asked to come back later in smaller groups to be processed.

The Syrians then rioted, set several cars and a few small buildings on the Turkish side of the border on fire, and prevented the Turkish fire department from putting out the fires.

The Syrians then withdrew back to the Syrian border crossing and shots began to be fired from the Syrian border crossing towards the Turksh border crossing, seriosly wounding at least two Turkish police officers, five Turkish soldiers, and four Turkish civilians who were on the Turkish side of the border.

Machine gun fire can be heard on some of the videos taken when these events occurred.

One of the wounded police officers later died in the hospital.

A large number of Turkish police officers and soldiers have been sent to the area.

Following these events a large number, reportedly around one thousand, of Syrians who were in Akçakale quickly crossed the border back to Syria.

In Akçakale there was a very vocal and very angry reaction to these events.

There are reports that the Syrians who had tried to cross into Turkey were smugglers and other reports that at least some of them were FSA forces.

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Some photographs and a video of the events:

http://www.aa.com.tr/...

http://aktuel.mynet.com/...

http://webtv.radikal.com.tr/...

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I have been to the Akçakale border crossing many times. The area on the Syrian side of the border is controlled by the Syrian rebels - ostensibly by the FSA but there is a strong presence of armed radical Islamic groups.

Since November antagonism has been growing between the Turkish government and the radical Islamic groups in Syria. Until then they had had good relations.  

There is no way that the people who rioted and killed the Turkish police officer were able to do these things without the knowledge and permission (at least to cross over the border) of the rebels who control the Syrian border crossing and the town of Tel Abyad.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (7+ / 0-)

    Lamb chop, we can quibble what to call it, but I think we can both agree it's creepy.

    by InAntalya on Thu May 02, 2013 at 09:41:04 AM PDT

  •  soooooo . . . (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    InAntalya, Fire bad tree pretty

    How can we in the West hang this one on Assad?

    I'm sure that's being discussed inside the Beltway and in the various Western European power centers as I type this.

    Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

    by corvo on Thu May 02, 2013 at 10:26:20 AM PDT

    •  We don't have to (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mookins

      It's a well-known and frequently discussed fact that although Assad is a murderous psychopath, some of his armed opponents are little better and possibly even worse. Today's tragedy in Turkey is proof enough of the latter point. If Assad disappeared tomorrow, Syria would still have profound and long-term problems.

      The Bush Family: 0 for 4 in Wisconsin

      by Korkenzieher on Thu May 02, 2013 at 10:36:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's well known and frequently discussed (3+ / 0-)

        --  not that that's ever gotten in the way of Western powers before, and it probably won't this time either.

        Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

        by corvo on Thu May 02, 2013 at 11:23:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  We'll see (0+ / 0-)

          I think we get it now that today's freedom-fighting Mujahideen are tomorrow's al-Qaeda extremists. However, I also just read that Chuck Hagel said we might be rethinking the current policy of not arming Syrian rebels. So, ummmm.....yeah.

          The Bush Family: 0 for 4 in Wisconsin

          by Korkenzieher on Thu May 02, 2013 at 12:58:36 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You don't think it impossible that (0+ / 0-)
            I think we get it now that today's freedom-fighting Mujahideen are tomorrow's al-Qaeda extremists
            that's why "we" want to support them in the first place?

            Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

            by corvo on Thu May 02, 2013 at 01:32:03 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  I'm sure some will try to ... (4+ / 0-)

      but anyone with even only a little knowledge of the area knows that this was rebel related.

      The Aljazeera report is bad but not as bad as they usually are. It doesn't even say that this happened at a Turkish border crossing and also convieniently leaves out that the Syrian border crossing and the area around it are controlled by Syrian rebel forces.

      and these sentences are misleading:  

      A police officer has died and at least 10 other people have been injured after gunfire broke out on Syria's border with Turkey, officials say.

      'gunfire broke out' - Who may I ask broke it out?
      Abdulhakim Ayhan, mayor of the border town of Akcakale, said shots were fired when Turkish authorities issued warnings to a large group of Syrians trying to cross illegally.
      'shots were fired' - and where were they shot from and by whom?

      Lamb chop, we can quibble what to call it, but I think we can both agree it's creepy.

      by InAntalya on Thu May 02, 2013 at 10:52:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  And wouldn't you know, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fire bad tree pretty, InAntalya

    with everything else (including the Sarin Attack Story) in tatters, the Obama Administration is finally admitting that it's talking about arming the "rebels".

    Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

    by corvo on Thu May 02, 2013 at 04:09:39 PM PDT

  •  Arabic media is reporting (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    InAntalya

    that the rebels have been routed from the Homs and Qusayr areas (north of the Lebanese border) as well as Idlib. The Orontes river border with Turkey is now in govt hands and the govt is also pushing towards Palmyra and seem to be winning a battle in Daraa north of the Jordanian border. Perhaps these are rebels who want to get out of the field of fighting?

    •  I've heard similar things about (0+ / 0-)

      the Homs, Qusayr and Daraa areas, and that government forces were moving northward in some parts of the Idlib Governorate, and that there was activity near the Orontes River section of the border.

      I understand that the northwestern corner of the Hamah Governorate and the northwestern part of the Idlib Governorate, which have been under rebel control for some time, have essentially no civilians left in them and that there are not large numbers of rebel fighters there as a result.  

      About six or seven months ago I began hearing that the rebels were beginning to have manpower problems, caused by high casualties, desertions, and low recruiting.

      Then I began hearing that some rebel groups (especially the radical Islamic and Arab tribes rebel groups) were shifting their operations to the east of the Euphrates and that this was causing increasing tension between the various rebel groups, between rebel groups and Kurdish groups, and between rebel groups and local residents in these areas east of the Euphrates.  

       

      Lamb chop, we can quibble what to call it, but I think we can both agree it's creepy.

      by InAntalya on Thu May 02, 2013 at 11:05:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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