Tension escalates along the Turkish-Syrian border

Published 14.11.2012 10:34
Updated 14.11.2012 10:45

Assad’s forces continued to strike Rasulayn on Tuesday, wreaking havoc on the neighboring Turkish border town of Ceylanpınar. Warplanes dropped three bombs on the Syrian town located just one kilometer’s distance from the border.

The second day of jet strikes sent Syrians scurrying through the flimsy barbed-wire fence that divides Rasulayn from the Turkish town of Ceylanpınar as thick plumes of smoke rose above the town. With worry and panic taking over, the residents of Ceylanpınar are now fleeing the district.

War planes belonging to the Syrian State Leader Bashar Assad's military bombarded the border town of Rasulayn which is now primarily in the control of opposition forces. As bombs fell just a few hundreds of meters' distance from Ceylanpınar, resulting in a significant loss of lives, panic ensued on both sides of the border as Syrians scrambled to escape the offensive.

After the violent conflict which erupted in the district last week, the opposition forces have taken over a majority of the Syrian town of Rasulayn, which is located directly across the border from the Ceylanpınar district in Şanlıurfa. Syrian forces staged three separate bombings in Rasulayn and repeated the offensive yesterday morning at 09:50. A Syrian fighter jet released three bombs in the district located just a kilometer's distance from the Turkish border.


Syrians had already gathered along the railway tracks lining the Turkish-Syrian border following the previous bombardment, yet with yesterday's onset they began crossing through the barbed wire fence to reach Ceylanpınar. As Syrians crossed over with children and light baggage, Turkish soldiers directed the refugees to tent camps for shelter.

Just nearly two hours after the initial bombing, Syrian warplanes staged a second aerial bombardment on Rasulayn. Plumes of smoke rose from two points hit in the offensive. Opposition forces returned with antiaircraft fire however were unsuccessful in their endeavor. Those injured in the attacks on Rasulayn were brought into Ceylanpınar by their close ones and relatives.


While security measures are being intensified in Ceylanpınar, announcements made by speakers from the municipality and roaming armored police vehicles are requesting residents refrain from going outside if not necessary and to stay away from the border for their own safety.
Security forces along the border have dug additional trenches and have stationed soldiers on duty and armored vehicles.

Citizens who gather along the border are being told to disperse. Schools have been out since last Thursday in Ceylanpınar due to the recent eruption of violence and the forced break has now been extended until Monday, November 19th.

An increasing number of residents are now fleeing the district, with a majority of citizens packing up their families and sending them off by bus to stay with relatives and friends in neighboring districts. Merchants in the district are now taping up their windows in order to protect them against shattering due to the offset from the nearby explosions.


With the continuation of Syrian warplanes bombing neighboring Rasulayn, the Turkish Armed Forces has deployed warplanes from the Diyarbakır Eighth Main Jet Base to patrol the border. On reconnaissance flights, yet loaded with munitions, the Turkish F-16's have been ordered to intervene in any case of border violation. Turkish jets first set off yesterday morning and continued to be deployed throughout the day.


Living on pins and needles due to the nearby offensive, residents of Ceylanpınar are in panic. Lining the fences is the sight of a humanitarian drama unfolding. Meanwhile four of 26 Syrians brought in from Idlib to receive treatment in Turkey have passed.

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