Syrian Turkmen run for their lives
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Syrian Turkmen run for their lives

Orient Net - Yeni Şafak
Date: 2015-11-26 18:49
Syria's northwestern Latakia area, just across Turkey's southern border, has seen a sudden influx of Turkmen and Arabs fleeing shelling from Assad regime forces backed by Russian jets.
Thousands – mostly women and children – are rushing for their lives from the heavily hit Turkmen region of Bayirbucak and Cebel Ekrad (Kurdish Mountain) towards Yamadi village close to Turkish border.
Living conditions are poor in the area which lies just 10 kilometers [six miles] from the Turkish border district of Yayladagi.
As the area has no electricity or water, displaced Turkmen and Arabs have to carry water in barrels from far-away sources.
They also rely on humanitarian aid sent from Turkey, which includes tents, clothes and food supplies.
- 'There are only Turkmens there'
Yamadi village falls right within the region where Russian fighter jets have been bombing since Sept. 30 in an air campaign it claims is directed at Daesh in Syria.
The border region is the source of a recent diplomatic spat between Ankara and Moscow as Turkish F-16s shot down a Russian warplane at the Turkish-Syrian border on Tuesday after repeatedly ignoring warnings that it was violating Turkish airspace.
Turkey already summoned the Russian envoy in Ankara on Friday over the bombing of Turkmen villages, demanding Moscow end the operation.
Premier Ahmet Davutoglu had also warned all sides against attacks targeting civilians on Turkey's border which would lead to further refugee flight.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency, a Turkmen, Nebil Shaki, said the Russian and regime forces bombing the region are targeting civilians who have taken to the roads in search of shelter.
He refused to have his photo taken saying his family still lives in the area held by regime forces and are unsafe.
"The regime and Russian war planes backing it have been bombing for days, regardless of [the targets' being] children or elderly. We barely escaped the bombardment. I had to come here with two of my children," he said.
Shaki said that they came under barrel-bomb attack on their way to Yamadi village, where they barely made it to after an uphill journey, taking cover under trees.
"At last, we came up to the Turkish border for our safety. We are grateful to Turkey for supplying us with tents and food. We feel safe here", he added.
Turkish Prime Ministry Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency, or AFAD, has also established a coordination center at Yamadi camp to be able to better organize humanitarian aid to Turkmen families.
Thousands of Turkmens have recently been displaced due to simultaneous air and ground attacks attacks by Syrian government forces and Russian jets. Approximately 2,000 Syrian Turkmens have arrived in southern Turkey in the past several days.
Shaki said Russian jets continue to bomb the Turkmen region on the pretext of a Daesh presence there.
"They are hitting us although Daesh does not exist in our region. There are only Turkmens there," he said.
Turkmens are a Turkic ethnic group based largely in Syria and Iraq, where they live alongside large Arab and Kurdish populations. The Turkmen community, which includes Sunni and Shia Muslims, shares close cultural ties with Turkey.

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