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Seven civilians die from Turkey’s attacks on northern Syria despite ceasefire

Ataques sobre Ras al Ain en Siria.

Attacks on Ras al Ain in Syria. – REUTERS / MURAD SEZER

MADRID, Oct. 18 (EUROPE PRESS) –

At least seven civilians have died and another 21 have been injured on Friday because of the bombings carried out by Turkey against the surroundings of the Syrian town of Ras al Ain, despite the announcement of a ceasefire on Thursday .

Seven civilians die from Turkey’s attacks on northern Syria despite ceasefire
Seven civilians die from Turkey’s attacks on northern Syria despite ceasefire

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, based in London and informants in the Arab country, has indicated that the attacks have reached the area of ​​Abú Rasin and the towns of Bab al Jair, On Eshbé and Madaba.

He also said that these bombings have killed four members of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDS), whose main member is the Kurdish militia Units of Popular Protection (YPG).

The Observatory has pointed out that this balance of fatalities brings the number of civilians killed in Syria to 79 since the beginning on October 9 of the Turkish military offensive against Kurdish authorities in the Arab country.

For its part, the Syrian state news agency, SANA, has raised the death toll to eight and added that the attacks have reached mosques, churches and monasteries.

The SDS had accused the Turkish troops early that day of violating the ceasefire reached the day before between Turkey and the United States and that it plans to cease hostilities for five days in northeastern Syria.

“Despite the agreement to suspend the fighting, air and artillery attacks continue to reach the positions of combatants, civil settlements and the Ras al Ain hospital,” Mustafa Bali, one of the SDS spokesmen, reported on Twitter.

US Vice President Mike Pence announced on Thursday a ceasefire agreement in northern Syria to allow the withdrawal of Kurdish forces from the 'safe zone' that Turkey demands.

“The United States and Turkey have agreed to a ceasefire in Syria,” he said, before adding that Ankara “will pause the 'Operation Peace Spring' to allow the YPG to be removed from the 'safe zone' for 120 hours.”

Pence, who met during the day with the president of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said that “all military operations will be paused and the 'Operation Peace Spring' will be stopped completely once the withdrawal (of the YPG) is completed” .

“We have begun to facilitate its safe withdrawal from the nearly 20 miles (about 32 kilometers) in the area south of the Turkish border,” he said at a press conference, while stressing that there is an agreement with Turkey so that ” don't start military operations against Kobani. ”

For his part, the Turkish Foreign Minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, denied that the agreement reached is a ceasefire and said that “the 'Operation Peace Spring' has not been stopped, but paused,” according to the local newspaper 'Daily Sabah'.

“This is not a ceasefire. Turkey will only stop the operation once all terrorist elements leave the 'safe zone',” he said, before arguing that a ceasefire can only be agreed “between two legitimate parties.”

Turkey began on October 9 the 'Operation Peace Spring', days after US President Donald Trump took a 180 degree turn to the Washington alliance with the SDS, until then a key ally in the fight against the State Islamic, and will withdraw its troops from the area, giving 'green light' to Turkey for its offensive.

Since then, most countries in the international community – including Russia and Iran – have charged against Ankara and warned that the operation could have a negative impact against the fight against the jihadist group.

The Syrian Army began deploying on Monday in several key points in northeastern Syria following the agreement reached with Syrian Kurdish leaders to counter the offensive. The Kurds have branded Trump's “stab in the back”.

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