On Sunday, Today’s Zaman reported: The army of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s military operation backed by Russian airstrikes in a rural area of Latakia inhabited by Bayır-Bucak Turkmens since last week has caused a number of Turkmens to flee to the Turkish border as a Turkmen brigade commander has called on Turkey’s assistance and expressed his frustration that Turkey’s helping hand hasn’t been extended so far.
In the meantime, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu held a security meeting in Ankara on Sunday to discuss the situation in Syria and the Bayır-Bucak Turkmens.
The Syrian regime forces started a ground military operation close to villages in the Gimam area where there are about 50 Turkmen villages this past week and Russia has supported the Assad forces by pounding the area. Turkmens are an ethnically Turkic group living mostly in Syria and Iraq, along with Arabs and Kurds.
Sultan Abdülhamit Brigade Commander Ömer Abdullah, who is fighting against the Assad forces in one of the Turkmen brigades, on Sunday called on Turkey to help the Turkmens, as the Syrian regime forces and Russians pounded Turkmens with cluster munitions, according to a report by the private Cihan news agency.
“We are trying to survive under unbearable brutality and we need Turkey’s help,” said Abdullah. Expressing criticism against the Justice and Development Party (AK Party), Abdullah said: “Every day our Turkmen brothers are dying. We expect the government to support us. Why do they leave us alone? We have fallen martyrs every day. Why are we left alone? I don’t understand.” [Continue reading…]