Παρασκευή, 11 Αυγούστου 2017

Turkey Starts Building Wall on Iranian Border to Keep Out ISIS, Kurdish Militants


  • Turkey has started construction of a wall along its border with Iran.
  • It has already been building a 828 km concrete wall on its border with Syria.
  • Turkish-Iranian border wall is supposed to keep out ISIS militants and ethnic Kurdish PKK militants.

Turkey has begun building a “security wall” along part of its border with Iran, just as it working on completing a wall on its border with Syria.
Since 2014, Ankara has been building a concrete wall on the Turkish-Syrian border which is 911 kilometers (566 miles) long.
A civil war has been raging in Syria since 2011 when it started as Arab Spring civil unrest against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.
As the conflict deepened, foreign powers such as Turkey, Iran, and Russia, have intervened militarily to a varying degree, and with varying success.
Security on both sides of the Turkish border wall under construction has been observed by the Turkish military, including through their operation “Euphrates Shield” inside Syrian territory which began in August 2016.
The concrete blocks used for the construction on Turkey’s border wall with Syria are 3 meters tall and 2 meters wide. On top of the concrete, there is a meter of razor-sharp barbed wire.
It is being built by the state-owned Housing Development Administration of Turkey (TOKI) and its construction is coordinated by Turkey’s Ministries of Defense and Finance.
Once it is completed, the wall will be taken over by the Turkish Interior Ministry which will operate it with a professional armed border patrol.
Even though Turkey has largely adopted an “open-door” policy for refugees fleeing from the Syrian civil, welcoming some 3 million of them, it has been under pressure from the USA and the EU to seal off its southern border so as to prevent a further influx of migrants into Europe.
Before Turkey’s Euphrates Shield operation, much of the Turkish-Syrian border was used by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) to smuggle weapons, supplies, and militants.
Turkey has also been worried about the growth of the YPG, the militia of the Syrian Kurds, which it says is connected with the PKK (“Kurdistan Workers’ Party), a group using violence to fight for the autonomy or independence of the Kurds living in Southeast Turkey.
The current US partnership with the YPG, which helps the US-led international coalition in its fight against ISIS, has been repeatedly lambasted by the Turkish government.
‘Security Wall’
Turkey has begun building a “security wall” along part of its border with Iran in a move aimed at stopping illegal passages, regional officials announced earlier this week, as cited by Hurriyet Daily News.
The wall on the Turkish-Iranian border is being built by the Housing Development Administration of Turkey (TOKI) upon the request of the Defense Ministry.
Pictures showing huge concrete blocks being moved into place were published on the website of the governor’s office of the eastern province of Agri.
Turkish authorities announced the construction of a 144-kilometer long barrier in May as a means of blocking cross-border movements. The entire Turkish-Iranian frontier is about 500 kilometers long.
Agri Governor Suleyman Elban, Provincial Police Chief Kenan Yıldız and Provincial Gendarmerie Commander Colonel Gokhan Sahin visited the site of the construction.
After receiving information on the project, Elban moved on to visit a border post and dined with soldiers.
Turkey’s “security wall” on its border with Iran will be constructed in five stages between Agri and the neighboring province of Igdır as part of the protocol between the ministry and TOKİ.
The first stage is expected to be completed in October and will also feature a “security road” in order for security forces to be able to patrol the area behind the border.
The efforts to place blocks weighing 7 tons with 2 meters width and 3 meters height are ongoing.
To beef up security on its Syrian border, Turkey began constructing a similar wall two years ago to prevent ISIS and PKK militants from moving easily between the two countries, and to clamp down on illegal crossings.
In June, Turkish Defense Minister Fikri Isik announced 690 kilometers out of a planned 828 kilometers of the wall had been completed along the border with Syria.
He added that further border security measures would be put in place once the construction is completed.
http://www.intelligencerpost.com/turkey-starts-building-wall-iranian-border-keep-isis-kurdish-militants/

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