Turkey Denies Shooting at Fleeing Syrian Refugees

HRW: Turkey Responded to Fleeing Aleppo Residents With Live Ammunition

After a Turkish-backed rebel offensive against ISIS in Aleppo Province turned into a disaster, Turkish border troops were scrambling to keep some 30,000 refugees displaced by the ISIS counter-offensive from fleeing into Turkey, that’s getting them some serious criticism.

Human Rights Watch reported on Friday that Turkish border guards responded to the refugees approaching the border with live ammunition, opening fire on the crowds to drive them back. The refugees have since stayed along the border, waiting.

Turkey’s Foreign Ministry confirmed that there are refugees from the ISIS counteroffensive, but insists that they didn’t shoot that them, and that the whole incident is just made up. This is not the first time Turkey has been accused of shooting at refugees.

Turkey has faced an influx of millions of refugees from the civil war, and has repeatedly tried to convince the US to go in on them with a plan to invade and occupy a section of northern Syria as a “safe zone” for refugees to hide in, arguing the area would also be a nice base for pro-US rebels.

As Turkey faces growing pressure from the European Union to keep the refugees out of Europe, they have become much more hostile to letting them into Turkey to begin with, though with no real alternatives, refugees are likely to keep trying to push northward at all costs.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.