Kurdish fighters leave besieged Syria town


Sunday 20 October 2019 | 6:18 PM Damascus Time

Syria Ras Al-AinTurkey Kurdish fightersPeace spring

  • Kurdish fighters leave besieged Syria town


    Dozens of Kurdish fighters left a Turkish-besieged town in northern Syria Sunday, in what appeared to be the start of a wider withdrawal under a ceasefire deal.

    Ankara launched a cross-border operation "Peace Spring" against Syria's Kurds on October 9 after the United States announced a military pullout from the north of the war-torn country.

    A US-brokered ceasefire was announced late Thursday, giving Kurdish forces until Tuesday evening to withdraw from a "safe zone" Ankara wants to create along its southern frontier.

    A Kurdish source said there was a "plan to withdraw" from Ras al-Ain, and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor, later said Kurdish forces had fully withdrawn from the border town.

    Turkey's defence ministry confirmed that Kurdish fighters were leaving the town.

    In a statement, it said 55 vehicles had entered Ras al-Ain and 86 had left "in the direction of Tal Tamr" to the south.

    It also said one of its troops was killed by Kurdish forces near the town of Tal Abyad.

    In Ras al-Ain, an AFP reporter saw at least 50 vehicles, including ambulances, leaving the town hospital, from which flames erupted shortly after their departure.

    Dozens of fighters in military attire left on pickups, passing by checkpoints manned by Ankara-allied Syrian fighters, he said.

    In the town of Tal Tamr, a woman ululated as a crowd gathered to receive the convoy from Ras al-Ain, another correspondent said.

    The departure from Ras al-Ain came a day after a medical convoy managed to evacuate wounded from the hospital.

    Source: Daily Mail. 

    Syria Ras Al-AinTurkey Kurdish fightersPeace spring