Turkey denies links to perpetrator in Kobani attack
Fighting in Kobani as seen from across the Turkish border. (AFP/File)
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Turkey has denied claims that a Turkish emergency agency official was involved and killed in a recent terrorist attack in the Syrian town of Kobani.
"In the wake of the most recent extremist attack on Kobani, a Syrian town near the Turkish border, certain groups claimed that one of the perpetrators killed during the clashes carried an official identification card issued by Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD)," said the Office of Public Diplomacy in a press release Monday.
The deadly bomb attack in Kobani on June 25 left nearly two dozens of people killed and at least 130 others wounded, sparking a new bout of fighting between Kurdish forces and Daesh after the Kurdish-majority town was overrun by the group last September.
Four days after the attack, on June 29, the rightful owner of the above-mentioned card — according to the statement — crossed the border into Turkey to identify himself to Turkish authorities.
It was established upon further review that this person was not one of the attackers who participated in the lethal assault, and therefore the perpetrator killed was not affiliated with the AFAD, the statement said.
"We strongly urge all parties to refrain from associating the AFAD, a recipient of the prestigious United Nations Public Service award, with terrorist activities," the statement added. "As a member of the international coalition, Turkey refuses to be associated with Daesh and other terrorist organizations."
Turkey shares an estimated 900-kilometer long border with Syria, with about 13 border crossings. Some on the Syrian side are now under Daesh’s control, including Tal Abyad in the Raqqa province.
According to new figures released by the Turkish Prime Ministry’s press section on Saturday, Turkey is hosting 194,000 civilians displaced from Kobani alone.
Turkey has sent nearly 2,000 vehicles with humanitarian aid to the people in Kobani since Sep. 19, 2014.
Over 270,000 of around 2 million Syrian refugees in Turkey are sheltered in 25 centers set up by the AFAD.