The Turkish state has defined its Syrian policy through various gang groups since 2011. When the Turkish state’s tutelage war through gangs like the Muslim Brotherhood, Jabhat Al-Nusra and ISIS was defeated by YPG/YPJ and the SDF, Turkey entered Syria itself on January 24, 2016. But they never abandoned gangs, both to legitimize the utterly illegitimate invasion operations and as a cheap battle force.
The Turkish state shaving ISIS gangs and putting them in FSA uniforms to call them “Euphrates Shield Forces” during the invasion operation against Jarablus launched on August 24, 2016 had been reported by international press. The MİT again used ISIS gangs during the invasion of Afrin, and has since increased activity in Northern Syrian provinces starting with Girê Spî and Manbij.
The MİT formed a gang group named the “Girê Spî National Army” commanded by former ISIS members and supported by the Mayor of Akçakale, and is using this gang in assassinations and sabotages against the democratic autonomous administration officials and SDF members in the Girê Spî area now.
AKÇAKALE MAYOR RESPONSIBLE FOR THE FORMING OF GANG GROUP
After the Turkish state invaded Afrin, the MİT accelerated its activity against Girê Spî, the bridge between Rojava’s Cizire and Kobanê cantons. By the MİT’s hand, propaganda that there will be an operation against Girê Spî was disseminated among the Arab population in Urfa and Akçakale and the people were asked to join the gang.
One of the key people the MİT tasked with forming this gang in Urfa and Akçakale is Akçakale Mayor Abdulhakim Ayhan (Ebid El Hekim Ayihan). The MİT held many visits and meetings through Ayhan among the Arab population in Akçakale to form the gang group named “Girê Spî National Army”. According to reliable sources, the MİT meetings organized in Akçakale and Urfa through Abdülhakim Ayhan, who himself is from the Arab community, were attended by gangs in the “Euphrates Shield”, their families and many former ISIS members.
COMMAND RANKS MADE UP OF ISIS MEMBERS
The meetings and visits by MİT resulted in the agreement to form the gang group a month ago. In a meeting with a lawyer named Ekrem Dede and Salih El Hac, Ebidulla En Hendawi and Ebid El Letif Keçel, the command ranks were determined. Reliable sources say some Arab groups who participated in the MİT meetings objected to it, but ISIS members formed the bulk of the command structure and body.
ALL ISIS MEMBERS WHO ARE USED TO CHANGING UNIFORMS
The ISIS members to form the command ranks of the new gang group have a past with the Turkish state’s tricks with gangs. They are all gang members who participated in previous uniform-change tricks of the MİT before, and switched between various gang groups.
According to information obtained by the ANF, the newly formed “Girê Spî National Army” gang group’s commanders and their pasts are as follows:
The ISIS member named Ebid El Letif Keçel was made the Commander General of the gang group. Keçel had formed the Enwe El Heq Battalion by the start of the Syrian crisis, but later joined ISIS. Keçel comes from the El Meshur clan, and is from the El Minbeteh village in Girê Spî.
Musene El Letif El Keçel is the First Commander of the gang group. Musena is Ebid El Letif Keçel’s son, and was part of the Enwe El Heq Battalion and later ISIS like his father. Letif El Keçel had detonated a vehicle in front of the FSA headquarters in Girê Spî and 3 FSA gangs had been killed in that explosion.
GANGS WHO PARTICIPATED IN THE SERÊKANİYÊ ATTACK
The former ISIS member named Ehmed El Hilu was made the Second Commander of the gang group. Ehmed El Hiu Umeyr had formed the Shex El Islam Ibni Teymiye Battalion, and later joined ISIS. He is from the Umeyr clan and is related to the Mayor of Akçakale.
Former ISIS member named Esmail Ebidulla El Êdo is also in the command structure. El Êdo was illegally collaorating with the Syrian regime before the Syrian crisis. With the start of the civil war he joined Al Nusra and participated in the Serêkaniyê attack. Responsible for the looting of the Serêkaniyê wheat silo, he was arrested by Al Nusra for stealing ammunition. He later disbanded his battalion and joined ISIS.
Other than these men, former ISIS members Muhemed El Ufi known as Ebo Reid, Huseyin Mehemed El Ufi known as Ebu Eye and Yasin El Umeyr are in the command ranks of the prospective gang group.
USED IN COUNTER ACTIVITY IN GIRÊ SPÎ NOW
According to reliable sources, 50 young men mostly from the El Umeyr clan have joined the gang group for now. All who join the gang group receive military and counter training, and some collaborators from Girê Spî in Northern Syria, not only from Akçakale or Urfa, are being brought to Akçakale to join this gang.
Sources say the MİT started this effort with propaganda that there will be an operation against Girê Spî in Rojava, but has since postponed this goal due to conjuncture and changed the use of the gang group for now. The gang members receiving special training from MİT and ISIS are being used in sabotages and assassinations against democratic autonomous administration officials and SDF members in Girê Spî now. These gang members work with the counter organization Kiyam Movement formed previously by the MİT to carry out assassinations in Raqqa, Girê Spî, Manbij and other provinces.
TURKEY TOOK ISIS MEMBERS STUCK IN GİRÊ SPÎ TO AKÇAKALE
The Turkish state who formed a new gang group named the “Girê Spî National Army” with ISIS members at its command had rushed to aid the ISIS members who were stuck in Girê Spî and were facing annihilation during the operation to liberate Girê Spî in 2015.
The city of Girê Spî is a bridge between Cizirê and Kobanê in Rojava and lies along the border with Turkey. It has been an important center for both ISIS and the Turkish state becaue ISIS gangs received gang members, weapons, medicine and other such resources through Turkey from Girê Spî.
Gangs made to attack the Kobanê and Cizirê cantons from there by the Turkish state posed a significant threat to Rojava and the world. But YPG/YPJ forces ended the 2 year long ISIS occupation in Girê Spî on June 16, 2015 as part of the Martyr Rubar Qamişlo Operation. When ISIS was stuck against the YPG in this operation, the Turkish state (who imposed an embargo against Rojava for 3 years at the time) opened the Akçakale border gate for ISIS members and thousands of ISIS members crossed into Akçakale.
ATTEMPTS TO INVADE GIRÊ SPÎ VOIDED EVERY TIME BY YPG/YPJ
The Turkish state never accepted the YPG/YPJ kicking ISIS, one of their most fundamental tools in the game of Syria, out of Girê Spî, an important center. Immediately after Girê Spî was liberated, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan himself protested the liberation. Afterwards, gang groups were taken over the border many times to create chaos in Girê Spî.
The invasion attempt and the massacre in Girê Spî on February 28, 2016 was the most significant one that was able to be documented. On February 28, 2016, ISIS gangs crossed into Girê Spî from the Akçakale border under supervision of Turkish soldiers and attacked 25 locations including the city center along the Siluk, Mabruqa and Ayn Isa line, and killed 15 Arab civilians. These attacks, however, were voided by the YPG/YPJ forces in 24 hours. Immediately after that, gang members captured in a YPG/YPJ operation, Savaş Yıldız and others, confessed that this invasion attempt and massacre was carried out in line with MİT planning and desires.
WHY AKÇAKALE AND GIRÊ SPÎ?
Although the tutelage war is over, today gang groups still constitute an important place in the Turkish state’s policy for Rojava and Syria. This year in January, the German television network ARD had uncovered documents showing 3 ISIS training camps, one in Urfa, Turkey. In the process, the relationship between ISIS and the Turkish state has been documented several times by the free press as well.
German media wrote that 234.900 young refugees from Syria were armed in AFAD camps and sent to Syria and Iraq to fight. They pointed out that out of the 21 camps, Turkey utilized the Suleyman Shah Camp in Akçakale, Urfa the most and that women in this camp also received training as part of the same effort.
The Turkish state wants to invade Manbij, Girê Spî and even Qamishlo, and their goal is to incite the Arab community against the Democratic Autonomous Administrations through the Girê Spî National Army, to possibly achieve legitimacy over these gang groups in an invasion operation in the future.