Kurds accuse Turkish military of attacking civilians in Ras al-Ayn – agency

TASS Russian News Agency | Oct 18, 2019 at 11:23 AM

TASS, October 18. The Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) has accused the Turkish Armed Forces of carrying out attacks on civilians in the town of Ras as-Ayn in northeastern Syria, Reuters reported on Friday citing the SDF.

"Despite the agreement to halt the fighting, [Turkish] air and artillery attacks continue to target the positions of fighters [and] civilian settlements [in Ras al-Ayn]," the agency cited the Kurdish statement.

In turn, Agence France-Presse reported five civilians dead in Turkish strikes on a village near the town.

Turkish authorities have yet to comment on the reports.

On October 9, Ankara launched a new military operation in northern Syria dubbed Peace Spring, which began with airstrikes on positions of Kurdish units. The objective is to create a buffer zone in northern Syria where Syrians refugees could return, Ankara claims. The buffer zone will also establish a security belt along the Turkish border. The Syrian SANA news agency branded the operation as aggression, while the international community condemned Ankara's actions.

On Thursday, the United States and Turkey reached an agreement to pause the Peace Spring operation. Turkey consented to a 120-hour ceasefire so that Kurdish units making up the coalition of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) could leave the areas of the border security zone that Ankara is attempting to create. Turkey designates a terrorist status to many Kurdish organization. If Kurds leave the area, the agreement reached by Ankara and Washington sets out that the operation will be ceased.