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Turkey closes border crossing with Syria

07-23-2012 14:10 BJT Special Report:Crisis in Syria |

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Meanwhile, Syrian rebels have reportedly taken over the Bab al-Salama border post with Turkey. This comes just three days after they seized control of the Bab al-Hawa crossing into Turkey.

Turkey closed the Cilveg zu border crossing with Syria on Sunday following last week’s attacks on Turkish cargo trucks on the Syrian side.

The only trucks allowed through - those destroyed and looted returning to Turkey.

Teoman Kilin is glad to see his truck back in one piece. It was loaded with thousands of US dollars of cosmetics, textiles and automotive spare parts, headed for Jordan, through Syria.

Teoman Kilin, the Turkish truck owner, said, "Yesterday we leant that the truck was stolen. We later found it in a village, empty. I don’t know exactly who did it, but I think it was opposition forces. There are about 150-200 armed men on the other side not doing anything, not checking anyone. They are doing whatever they want."

He shows us mobile footage of the Bab al Hawa border crossing and the lack of any customs checks.

Natalie Carney said, "As the conflict rages next door we can see sort of the effects of the conflict itself here on the Turkish side of the border. Just on the other side of this border is the Bab al Hawa. A few trucks were attacked on Friday supposedly by rebel forces.

This is the remains of one of the trucks that has ventured back here onto Turkish soil. Whether it will be cleaned up, repaired and head back into Syria is still unknown but as you can see there clearly is a lot of work to be done and shows there clearly is still a lot of tension."

He claims more than 40 other trucks and drivers have been held on the other side for days.

Teoman Kilin said, "The drivers call me and say they are almost out of food and there is a lot of fighting. They don’t know what to do. No one is doing anything."

The Turkish foreign ministry has repeatedly warned its citizens not to travel to Syria because of security concerns but traders argue they must continue trading via Syria in order to stay in business. Ahmet Saz is another truck driver who is still waiting for his looted truck to return.

Ahmet Saz, Turkish Truck driver said, "I saw it all happen. They stole everything. And we had to bribe them with nearly 3000 US$ just to get our empty truck back. It’s a total mess over there."

Meanwhile fighting raged on in the Syrian capital as government forces try to clear Damascus of the nearly 2,500 opposition fighters said to have infiltrated the city a week earlier.

Heavy clashes also continued to rocked Aleppo, Syria’s largest city and commercial capital, forcing more people to flee the violence.

According to the British based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, more than 2,750 people have been killed in fighting across the country in the past three weeks.

Editor:Wang Xiaomei |Source: CNTV.CN

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