The Turkish troops have clashed with the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in a village near the border town of Ras al-Ain in northern Syria, Syrian state media reported on MondayMOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 21st October, 2019) The Turkish troops have clashed with the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in a village near the border town of Ras al-Ain in northern Syria, Syrian state media reported on Monday.
According to the Ikhbariya tv channel, the fresh clashes are underway in the village of Umm Ashba.
In addition, the Turkish forces have reportedly set tyres on fire in the tunnels of Ras al-Ain.
The reported escalation comes as a 120-hour ceasefire, agreed by Turkey and the United States on Thursday to allow the withdrawal of the Kurdish militia from the 20-mile border area, is still formally in force. The ceasefire is to expire on Tuesday evening.
SDF commander Mazloum Abdi, however, said that the deal covered only the area between the cities of Tal Abiad and Ras al-Ain, just one-third of the border area controlled by the Kurdish forces, as confirmed by US Special Envoy for Syria Engagement James Jeffrey. According to Jeffrey, Ankara is discussing the issue with the Syrian authorities and Russia.
Turkey launched an offensive in northern Syria on October 9 in a bid to create a "safe zone" along the border that would be free of Kurdish militias, viewed by Ankara as terrorists. Damascus has since sent forces to Syria's north at Kurds' request. The Russian military police are helping Damascus to patrol the area.