Turkey Illegally Opens New Commercial Gate in Syria’s Sere Kaniye (Ras al-Ain)

The decision by Turkey to open a new border crossing dedicated to commercial activity is generating protests among the local community, according to Kurdish news agency North Press

The Turkish government and its affiliated armed groups in Syria opened a new trade gate on the border with Turkey in Syria’s northeastern town of Sere Kaniye (Ras al-Ain).

The local council of Ras al-Ain, which is affiliated with Turkey, announced on Monday the start of imports and exports through the new gate in the city, while the formal gate in the western side of the city remains open for non-commercial travel.

The new gate is in the northern side of the city on land which formerly belonged to local Armenian Ara Kechichian, who fled the city after Turkey and its affiliated groups’ invasion in the beginning of October 2019.

Kechichian had immigrated to Armenia in 2012 after the attacks of Ghuraba al-Sham and the Nusra Front, but he returned back to the city after it was liberated by the Kurdish-led People’s Protection Units (YPG).

Sources from Sere Kaniye (Ras al-Ain) said that the Ras al-Ain city council suspended works two weeks ago to protest the decision by the Turkish Army to hand over the commercial border crossing to the al-Hamzat Division militia, which has no connection to the city’s residents.

The leader of al-Hamzat, Sayf Abu Bakr, appointed his brother Ahmed Bolat Abu Bakr as the manager of the new gate, which angered the city council, which demanded another person be appointed.

Meanwhile, al-Hamzat held demonstrations in the city accusing the council of misappropriation of funds and demanding the formation of a new council.

On Sunday, the city’s council resumed work “in accordance with the requirements of the public interest and the service of civilians,” according to their statement.

 

This article was edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.

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