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Kurds say Turkey is violating the ceasefire in northern Syria

2019-10-19T21:43:38.130Z

Two US officials on the ground told CNN that the ceasefire between Syria and Turkey is not maintained. Both Syrian Kurds and Turkey-backed forces have acted…



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(CNN) - Two US officials on the ground told CNN today that "the ceasefire is not maintained" between Syria and Turkey.

On Thursday, Vice President Mike Pence announced an agreement with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to stop Turkey's offensive in northern Syria.

The fighting continued on the border between Turkey and Syria on Friday, according to eyewitnesses and Kurdish fighters, despite the announcement by US Vice President Mike Pence of a five-day ceasefire.

  • Mike Pence confirms that the ceasefire agreement was reached with Turkey

On Friday, shelling and artillery fire of artillery fire were reported in the border town of Ras al-Ain, one of the objectives of Turkey's week-long offensive against Kurdish fighters, which were long backed by the United States.

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) led by the Kurds told CNN that the bombings of the Turkish army and the Syrian rebel representatives who support them have affected several civil areas in Ras al-Ain, including a hospital. The SDF says that five fighters died in the attack.

“The SDFs are committed to the ceasefire, but from last night until this morning we are seeing bombings in Ras al-Ain by the Turkish army and its mercenaries about the SDF and Kurdish civilian targets, and in particular at the Ras al-hospital Ain, ”said SDF press commander Merivan Qamishlo.

The "ceasefire is not maintained" in Syria, US officials say

Two US officials with knowledge of the events on the ground told CNN on Saturday that the ceasefire between Syria and Turkey "is not maintained."

It was not clear who the battlefield actions behind this assessment were, but both Syrian Kurds and Turkey-backed forces have accused each other of rapes.

The Turkish government has insisted that the agreement is not a ceasefire, but only a "pause" in operations in the region, reflecting Ankara's views on the state of Syrian Kurds.

Speaking at a press conference on Friday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey's offensive would resume if the United States fails to meet its guarantee of removing Syrian Kurdish fighters from the safe zone Tuesday night.

"If the United States can fulfill its promise at the end of 120 hours, the problem of a safe zone will be resolved," Erdogan said. "But if this promise is not fulfilled, we will continue with the operation with a higher resolution than where we left it, the minute after they have finished 120 hours."

  • Kurdish militias advance in northern Syria while fighting continues

Turkey denies accusations of blockade of withdrawals

A senior Turkish official told CNN that Turkey is "backing 100%" of the agreement negotiated by the United States to pause hostilities in northern Syria, adding that it was "strange to think we would violate an agreement we like" .

The official responded to accusations that Turkey or the Turkish-backed Syrian National Army were blocking the withdrawal of Syrian-Kurdish fighters, whom he called "PKK terrorists," from areas in northern Syria where Turkey seeks to forge a "safe zone".

The senior official said the accusations were simply "false information" disseminated by "YPG terrorists."

“We are on the same page with the United States. The Turkish army provided detailed information, including coordinates, with the United States to facilitate the withdrawal of the YPG, ”he said.

Dozens of injured have been evacuated from the besieged city of Ras al-Ain

Dozens of injured people were evacuated in a humanitarian convoy after being granted permission to enter the besieged city of Ras al-Ain in northeastern Syria, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) media office said this afternoon. .

The Free Syrian Army (FSA), supported by Turkey, which controls most of the city, granted permission to a humanitarian convoy formed by the Kurdish Red Crescent, the Syrian Arab Red Crescent and the International Red Cross after the FSA prevented it from Thursday, SDF said.

A humanitarian worker, David Eubanks of the Free Burma Rangers, who spoke with CNN from northeastern Syria, said they were also allowed to enter the city and were able to evacuate 37 injured.

War in Syria

Source: cnnespanol

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