Turkey’s attempts to control the border with the Syrian Kurdish city of Ayn al-Arab turned violent today in the face of a surge of refugees into neighboring Turkey, and a number of Turkish Kurds trying to enter Syria to fight ISIS.
Some 100,000 Kurds are believed to have crossed into Turkey since the crossing was reopened on Friday, and Turkish officials’ demands for IDs showing the refugees actually lived in Ayn al-Arab, and not in one of the surrounding villages, fueled tensions which erupted into open clashes between refugees and police.
When police tried to stop the crowd fleeing Syria, refugees threw rocks at them, and police responded by firing tear gas and turning water cannons against them.
Turkey has struggled to cope with massive refugee numbers out of Syria over the past three years, and the difficulty is compounded with Kurdish refugees because of tensions between Turkey and its own Kurdish minority.
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