Caught Between the Islamic State and the Kurds: Exiled From Tal Abyad

In June 2015, Kurdish forces — supported by the Free Syrian Army and US-led coalition airstrikes — drove out the Islamic State (IS) from the northern Syrian town of Tal Abyad — a strategically important gain in the battle against the jihadists. Yet the fighting also forced waves of refugees to cross the border into the Turkish town of Akcakale.

The advance on Tal Abyad, containing a diverse population of Arabs, Turkmen, and Kurds, provoked the Turkish government and a coalition of rebel groups to accuse Kurdish forces of “ethnic cleansing” and displacing Arabs and Turkmen — an accusation strongly denied by the Kurdish forces.

Yet allegations of forcible displacement persist among refugees, with some telling VICE News that their hometown is now under another hostile occupation, and others stating that life under IS rule was better.

Many refugees in Akcakale have had to set up camp in parks, or rent overcrowded housing. There is a lack of food and a number of children require immediate medical attention.

VICE News meets the refugees and activists of Tal Abyad, where they describe their new life in Turkey, as well as their fears for the future.

Watch “Inside the Battle: Al Nusra-Al Qaeda in Syria (Trailer)” – http://bit.ly/1OySUxB

Read “Tal Abyad Has Declared Autonomy — and That May Worry Turkey” – http://bit.ly/1GTDAnr

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Exiled From Tal Abyad (Trailer)

In June 2015, Kurdish forces — supported by the Free Syrian Army and US-led coalition airstrikes — drove out the Islamic State (IS) from the northern Syrian town of Tal Abyad — a strategically important gain in the battle against the jihadists. Yet the fighting also forced waves of refugees to cross the border into the Turkish town of Akcakale.

The advance on Tal Abyad, containing a diverse population of Arabs, Turkmen, and Kurds, provoked the Turkish government and a coalition of rebel groups to accuse Kurdish forces of “ethnic cleansing” and displacing Arabs and Turkmen — an accusation strongly denied by the Kurdish forces.

Yet allegations of forcible displacement persist among refugees, with some telling VICE News that their hometown is now under another hostile occupation, and others stating that life under IS rule was better.

Many refugees in Akcakale have had to set up camp in parks, or rent overcrowded housing. There is a lack of food and a number of children require immediate medical attention.

VICE News meets the refugees and activists of Tal Abyad, where they describe their new life in Turkey, as well as their fears for the future.

Watch “Inside the Battle: Al Nusra-Al Qaeda in Syria (Trailer)” – http://bit.ly/1OySUxB

Read “Russian Jets and Syrian Troops Are Attacking Aleppo” – http://bit.ly/1hIY4bP

Subscribe to VICE News here: http://bit.ly/Subscribe-to-VICE-News

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VICE News Daily: Thousands of Syrian Refugees Return Home From Turkey

The VICE News Capsule is a news roundup that looks beyond the headlines. Today: Turkey reopened the Akcakale border crossing allowing Syrian refugees to return home, UN female police officers are helping survivors of sexual violence in South Sudan’s refugee camps, illegal amber excavators threaten Russia’s environment, and yoga will be taught in India’s secondary schools.

SYRIA
Refugees Cross Reopened Turkish Border
Thousands of Syrian refugee’s returned home after Kurdish-led forces defeated the Islamic State at Tel Abyad.

SOUTH SUDAN
UN Female Police Patrol Refugee Camps
Women peacekeepers assist with sexual violence and domestic abuse in displacement camps.

RUSSIA
Illegal Amber Excavation Destroys Farmland
Excavators shovel through fertile soil under crop fields in search of the valuable fossilized tree resin.

INDIA
Yoga Taught in Secondary Schools
The course material will be 20 percent theory, 80 percent practical and a nation-wide competition will be held in 2016.

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