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Turkey, Kurds trade accusations over shaky Syria truce

The Turkey-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA), that controls most of the town, granted permission to a humanitarian convoy consisting of Kurdish Red Crescent, Syrian Arab Red Crescent, and International Red Cross crews after being prevented by FSA since Thursday, SDF said. "We don't have any more fighters in the city".

At the central Turkish province of Kayseri yesterday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned that Turkey would continue to "crush the heads" of Kurdish forces if they did not withdraw from the "safe zone" by Tuesday evening when the 120-hour pause on operations would end.

Turkey's offensive this month to rout Kurdish militants from the Syrian frontier has drawn worldwide condemnation and set off a scramble for territory.

Fox News National Security Correspondent Jennifer Griffin says a top commander of Kurdish forces in Syria told her Turkey has continued its offensive and is ethnically cleansing the region.

Despite the cease-fire, Turkish-backed Syrian fighters on October 19 clashed with Kurdish-led forces. Under the deal, Turkish forces would halt military operations for 120 hours to allow the SDF to retreat.

The Turkish government claims it is neutralising Kurdish "terrorists", boasting of having killed hundreds of Kurds since the conflict began.

The ministry said 12 of the attacks came in the battleground border town of Ras al-Ain, one in Tal Abyad and another in the Tal Tamr area.

Turkey's offensive in northeastern Syria falls foul of global law, Germany's Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said Sunday.

He spoke to reporters traveling with him to the Afghan capital, Kabul.

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"The U.S. withdrawal continues apace from northeast Syria", he said.

"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.

"Esper did not rule out the idea that USA forces would conduct counterterrorism missions from Iraq into Syria".

Associated Press: "US troops in Syria going to Iraq, not home as Trump claims" - "While President Donald Trump insists he's bringing home Americans from "endless wars" in the Mideast, his Pentagon chief says all USA troops leaving Syria will go to western Iraq and the American military will continue operations against the Islamic State group". "Things could change between now and whenever we complete the withdrawal, but that's the game plan right now".

"President Erdogan wants this so-called "safe zone" to be 450km long ... and around 30km deep", Stratford said. The decision to move USA forces from Syria to Iraq highlights the challenges of reaching that goal.

The administration has sent thousands of troops to the region since the spring.

Ankara says it has lost five soldiers.

The secretary of state defended the ceasefire that he and Vice President Mike Pence brokered with Turkey and responded to criticism from both Kurdish fighters and Republicans on the Hill, on ABC's "This Week".

Syrian Kurds now fleeing to Iraqi Kurdistan are being directed to this newly reactivated camp, known as Bardarash.



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