Turkish activists has called on the Turkish government to support and protect the Turkmeni towns and villages which are located in the Latakia countryside. They believe that if the Syrian regime manages to capture those villages a massacre against the Turkmens will occur because of the historical hatred and the present animosity.
They also launched a campaign on social media to warn everyone about it and to show solidarity with the Turkmens.
#TürkmenDağındaKatliamVar [which means Massacre in Turkmen Mountains].
The Turkish Foreign Ministry has called the Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrey Karlov following the Assad regime’s attacks on the Turkmen villages. Foreign Ministry spokesman Tanju Bilgiç said on Friday that Ambassador Karlov was told that the bombing of Turkmen villages is not part of the fight against terrorism and that the military operation should be stopped immediately.
Bilgiç said in a statement that Russian aircraft are pounding villages where Bayır-Bucak Turkmens live in an area close to Turkey’s Yayladağ border gate. He stressed that Karlov was warned that Russia’s bombing of civilian Turkmen villages may cause serious consequences and the military operation should be ended. He also said Turkey has extended the same warnings to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s Middle East special envoy and Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov. Turkish government has traditionally expressed solidarity with the Syrian Turkmen, who are Syrians of Turkish descent.
MHP supporters protesting \ Anadolu Agency
Turkish Nationalist supporters from MHP have protested next to the Russian Consulate in Istanbul condemning the Russian airstrikes against the Turkmen villages in Syria.
Many Turkmens fled their villages due to heavy Russian airstrikes and went across the Turkish borders to the north. More than 1,500 Turkmens have escaped to Turkish borders in the last 3 days. The Turkish Red Crescent has delivered humanitarian aid to the Syrian Turkmen refugees and this includes food, medical supplies, clothes, blankets and school supplies.
Syrian Turkmen fighters in Latakia mountains \ Facebook
For the last three days, the Syrian regime troops backed by Russian airstrikes have launched a military campaign in order to control the suburbs of Latakia which is located closely to the Turkish border which has around 50 Turkmen villages and around 100,000 people living there.
The Turkmen majority area is about to fall to Syrian regime forces which may cause 15,000 Turkmen to flee to Turkey fearing being massacred by Syrian regime troops and militiamen.
Many experts believe that the current attacks carried out by the Syrian regime forces backed by Russian airstrikes in Turkmen mountain areas located in the northern countryside of Latakia, is aimed to disrupt the Turkish initiative to create safe zones to protect civilians in northern Syria.
The Turkish plan about creating a safe zone in northern Syria is still going according to their plan, they have increased their military support to the Syrian opposition groups against Islamic State in northern suburbs of Aleppo, but many opposition factions including Turkmen militant groups were forced to retreat to Latakia to stop the Assad regime offensive and to protect the Turkmen villages.
Ankara aims to eliminate the Islamic State presence in northern Syria and to create a safe zone [From Jarablus to Azaz] for the civilians escaping from Assad regime forces and Islamic State militants. This will also help to reduce the refugee pressure on the Turkish government.
The attacks appear to be targeting Syrian opposition forces which controls these villages. Syrian Turkmens joined the 2011 Syrian uprising against the Assad regime from its beginnings, Many Turkmen areas has been attacked and bombed by the Syrian regime forces and Islamic State.