Turkish forces deny rescue, medical services entry to Ras al-Ayn – Kurdish agency

TASS Russian News Agency | Oct 18, 2019 at 12:35 PM

TASS, October 18. Turkish forces and Syrian armed opposition units supporting them are blocking rescue and medical workers from reaching the town of Ras al-Ayn in northeast Syria, the Kurdish Firat news agency claimed on Friday.

"A medical brigade made up of doctors from US Free Burma Rangers (FBR) organization and rescuers from the Kurdish branch of the Red Crescent headed to Ras al-Ayn to provide medical care to the wounded rushed to local hospitals. However, the Turkish Armed Forces and mercenaries fighting on their side did not allow them to enter the town," the agency said.

Earlier on Friday, Reuters and the Al Mayadeen TV channel reported that Turkish military attacks on Ras al-Ayn had resumed in spite of a temporary ceasefire deal struck with the US. Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan refuted reports on continuing hostilities in the region branding them as disinformation.

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.