Cizre, Turkey – Turkey has started to construct a 45 kilometer-long concrete wall along its border with Syria’s war-torn territory, Turkish media sources reported on Friday.
According to Dogan news agency, the Turkish authorities have already erected 12 kilometers of the concrete wall along the border of Hatay province with Syria.
The Rihanli town in the southern Turkish province of Hatay has been by smugglers for years.
“Many Syrians have crossed the border illegally into Turkey through Rihanli with support of smugglers. The wall could ease the pressure of refugees’ influx into Turkey,” civil rights activist Mustafa Demer told ARA News.
“The Turkish project is also aimed at preventing foreign militants from using the Turkish territory to cross into Syria and join extremist groups there,” Demer said.
This comes amid increasing security measures at the Turkish border with Syria. Turkey has reportedly reached an agreement with the United States to establish a safe zone in northern Syria in order to ease refugees’ pressure on Turkey.
In the meantime, Turkey has stepped up its airstrikes on Syrian areas held by militants of the Islamic State.
Reporting by: Eyaz Ciziri
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