Clashes continue in northern Syria despite ceasefire agreement
Fighting appears to continue in Northeast Syria despite US-brokered cease-fire
Fighting between Turkish-backed militants and Syrian Kurds is taking place in several parts of the country
Syrian militants, backed by Turkey, attacked Kurdish forces in several areas of northeastern Syria on Saturday, with militants crossing Turkey’s border into Syria and attacking a village on one occasion, the Syrian Human Rights Observatory reported. Both sides blame each other for the continued hostilities that violate the US-brokered ceasefire.
Nearly two days after a ceasefire was reached, both sides fired on an area near the border town of Ras al Ain. In addition, there are no signs of withdrawal of Kurdish forces from positions located near the Syrian-Turkish border, as required by the agreement between Turkey and the United States..
The Turkish Defense Ministry assures that the actions of the Turkish military are in “full compliance” with the requirements of the agreement. Ankara is constantly coordinating its actions with Washington to ensure the continuation of the ceasefire, the ministry said. The Defense Ministry accuses Kurdish militants of carrying out 14 attacks in the past 36 hours. Most of them took place in Ras al-Ain, which the Turks began to siege before the ceasefire. Turkey says Kurds use mortars, missiles, anti-aircraft and anti-tank heavy machine guns.
The Turkish military also announced that they were able to detain more than 40 people suspected of collaborating with the Islamic State, who had previously escaped from the prison camp in the chaos that reigned in the region after the Turkish invasion..
Meanwhile, the Kurds have asked Vice President Mike Pence to enforce the agreement. Kurds argue that Turkey is not honoring the terms of the deal and continues the siege of Ras al-Ain.
Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces report ongoing fighting in Ras al Ain, claiming medics cannot enter the city to help the wounded.
The British Observatory for Human Rights in Syria reported that Turkish-backed militants crossed the border into Syria and deeper into Shakaria, a Kurdish-held village east of Ras al Ain..
The Human Rights Observatory in Syria confirmed the Kurds’ claim, saying that Syrian pro-Turkish militants prevented a medical convoy from reaching Ras al Ain. Medics have been on the outskirts of the city since Friday, but pro-Turkish forces have closed the road on both sides.
The Kurds claim that they fully comply with the terms of the ceasefire agreement, but they refuse to leave the areas claimed by Turkey. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned on Friday that if the Kurds do not leave the “security zone” that stretches 30 kilometers from the border, Turkey will continue its offensive on Tuesday when the ceasefire agreement expires..