Cell houses assigned to ISIS in Urfa’s Akçakale district

Reports say the Akçakale District Governor and AKP’s Akçakale Municipality has been assigning cell houses to ISIS members in neighborhoods on the Rojava border in Urfa’s Akçakale district.

Reports say the District Governor and AKP’s district municipality has been assigning cell houses to ISIS members in neighborhoods on the Rojava border in Urfa’s Akçakale district.

According to reports from local sources, the gangs have settled in the border neighborhoods. Led by the Akçakale District Governor, AKP’s Akçakale Municipality settled the gangs in the AFAD Tent City, the Municipality Garage, the Turkish Grain Board and neighborhoods closeby.

While the ISIS members parade as sympathizers for different organisations, the increased activity in cell houses along the border line draws attention. The gang members organised by the administrators in public institutions can be seen strolling around in the city center without worry.

The organisation of the gangs in the district, who are made out to seem like Ahrar Al-Sham and Al Nusra members, is carried out by public institution administrators. There is also active gang practices in the secret cell houses in the district.


The police and soldiers protecting the gang members in Akçakale district shows the collaboration between state and the gangs. There are reports of vehicles with civilian license plates directly assigned by Turkish intelligence MİT that are seen conducting exchanges with the gang members, while NGOs wishing to conduct independent investigations in the district, particularly inside the AFAD camp, are straight out refused.

There is open support for the gangs in the Akçakale Municipality, particularly in AFAD Tent City, and in Akçakale District Governorate and Akçakale Police Department.

ISIS had attacked YPG and YPJ positions in Rojava’s Grê Spî (Til Ebyad) city on February 27, with one group of the perpetrators coming from Akçakale. Heavy weapons were used by an approximately 50 gang members. This attack conducted from the Turkish border was within knowledge of the public officials in the district, particularly the Akçakale District Governor.


With the immediate retaliation from YPG and YPJ fighters, the attack on Grê Spî on the Akçakale border was voided. Reports say the 6-7 ISIS members who managed to fall back were protected by the public officials in the district. The gangs are under protection in line with promises made before the attack.

The border gate in the district has been closed off since June of 2015, immediately after YPG and YPJ liberated Grê Spî - this is another factor that shows how close the relationship between the state and the gangs is. The border gate was kept open during the ISIS invasion of Grê Spî, and all kinds of logistical support was allowed through the border to the gangs’ stronghold, Raqqa, until June 2015.