Culture

Hundreds of thousands flee Turkey's incursion into northern Syria

Hundreds of thousands flee Turkey's incursion into northern Syria”

Khalil said that once the Ras al-Ayn evacuation was carried out, Kurdish-led forces will withdraw from a swath of border territory in accordance with the US -brokered deal.

The ministry said that it considers these unfounded claims as part of a "smear campaign" against "our struggle with the terrorism threat that originates from Syria and targets our national security", the statement said.

Erdogan has accused Syrian Kurdish forces of releasing some 750 IS members and families, amid Turkey's offensive.

Turkish presidency spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said Ankara abided by the agreement and urged the U.S. to use its leverage to ensure Syrian Kurdish forces' pullout. President Tayyip Erdogan will travel to Sochi on Tuesday for emergency talks on Syria with his Russian counterpart.

And in its pursuit of these fighters there are now fears that Turkey's invasion could end up ethnically cleansing the Kurdish population from its border with northern Syria.

Erdogan's spokesman, Ibrahim Kalin said Ankara does not want either Syrian forces nor Kurdish fighters in the border area because refugees would not go back to areas under their control.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed to resume the offensive against Kurdish forces in northeast Syria if they don't withdraw by the end of a US -brokered truce on Tuesday night.

This is the first time the Kurdish force has publicly acknowledged it will withdraw from the border, saying it has coordinated it with the Americans.

"Despite all the hostile acts in violation of the agreement, a convoy of 39 vehicles, mostly ambulances, safely entered and exited Ras al-Ain on Saturday" to help evacuate the wounded, the ministry said.

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Syrian Kurds flee the countryside of the northeastern Syrian town of Ras al-Ain on the Turkish border, toward the west to the town of Tal Tamr on October 19, 2019.

Syrian state media said Saturday that government forces have clashed with Turkey-backed forces in the region.

It said Turkish forces had responded to the attack and that 20 acts violating the deal were committed by the YPG since the start of the truce.

That day, Turkish air strikes and mortar fire by allied Syrian fighters killed 14 civilians in and around the village of Bab al-Kheir, the Observatory said.

The official, Redur Khalil, said Saturday evening that the evacuation could take place Sunday if there were no new problems.

If Kurdish fighters then pull back from the 120-kilometres (75 miles) border area, it is uncertain what the arrangement would be along the rest of the northeastern border, most of which remains exclusively in the hands of Kurdish-led fighters.

So far, the Syrian forces have only moved into one location directly on the border, the town of Kobani, and a few positions further south.

"This is one of the topics that we will discuss with the Russians, because, again, we are not going to force any refugees to go to anywhere they don't want to go", he said. Even after the cease-fire was announced, the flow of injured and dead to her hospital hadn't stopped, she said.



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