Fierce fighting is taking spot about the Syrian border town of Ras al-Ain as Turkish forces continue their offensive in the north-east against the Kurds.
Turkey says it has taken the important town but the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) dispute this.
Turkey has also denied targeting US forces just after the Pentagon mentioned troops additional west had come beneath fire.
At least 30 civilians are reported killed and a lot more than 100,000 displaced in 4 days of fighting.
President Donald Trump’s choice to withdraw US troops from the location successfully triggered the Turkish incursion against the SDF – the most important Western allies in the fight against the Islamic State (IS) group.
Turkey accuses the Kurds of getting terrorists and says it desires to drive them away from a “secure zone” inside Syria exactly where it plans to resettle a lot more than 3 million Syrian refugees presently in Turkey.
A single big concern for the international neighborhood is the fate of thousands of suspected IS prisoners, such as several foreign nationals, getting guarded by Kurdish-led forces in the area.
What is the most recent on the ground?
The Turkish military and allied Syrian rebels are engaged in heavy clashes with the SDF in Ras al-Ain. War planes have been circling, the town has been hit by days of artillery bombardment and intense gunfire has been heard.
Meanwhile a spokesman for the Turkey-backed Syrian fighters told Reuters news agency they had seized a strategically critical road among Tal Abyad and Ras al-Ain and 18 villages had been captured throughout the advance.
Kurdish media reports mentioned Kurdish female politician Hevrin Khalaf, secretary basic of the Syrian Future Celebration, had been killed, even though it was unclear how she had died.
On Friday, the Pentagon mentioned its base close to the northern Syrian town of Kobane – which was not incorporated in the US withdrawal and exactly where Turkey knew US forces had been present – had observed shell fire from Turkish positions. There had been no injuries.
Turkey mentioned it had been responding to fire from the location and had ceased its bombardment just after getting informed by the US.
The SDF are facing a lot of Turkish ground and air assaults along a stretch of the Turkey-Syria border about 75 miles (120km) extended, correspondents say.
Some 74 SDF fighters had been killed, largely in the location about the town of Tal Abyad, the UK-primarily based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) mentioned.
Meanwhile 49 fighters with the pro-Turkish rebels (identified as the Syrian National Army) have also been killed.
Turkey’s military says a single of its soldiers has been killed and 3 other people wounded.
What is the scenario for civilians?
Most of the civilian deaths occurred in the Tal Abyad location, the SOHR mentioned. Dozens have also been seriously injured. Help groups say as several as 450,000 people today could be forced to move.
The fighting has also forced Tal Abyad’s only public hospital to close.
On the Turkish side, at least 5 people today such as a Syrian infant had been reportedly killed in Kurdish shelling of Turkish border towns.
Why is the offensive taking place?
Kurdish leaders – whose militia fought with the US to defeat IS – accuse the US of stabbing them in the back just after Mr Trump successfully gave Turkey the go-ahead to move into north-eastern Syria.
Mr Trump now says he desires the US to negotiate a truce among Nato ally Turkey and the Kurds. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, even so, says the military operation will continue.
Mr Erdogan says he desires to produce a “secure zone” in northern Syria absolutely free of Kurdish militias which could also be house to Syrian refugees.
The incursion has been condemned by several in the US and other Western nations and stress is developing in Washington to get Turkey to cease.
President Trump spoke briefly about the scenario as he ready to head to a rally on Friday, saying: “We never want them killing a lot of people today… if we have to use sanctions we will.”
What are fears about IS primarily based on?
IS seems to be attempting to take benefit of the Turkish incursion.
On Saturday it declared a new campaign in Syria, which the group mentioned was to avenge its members’ detention in Kurdish-run prisons.
5 IS members broke out of a prison in the city of Qamishli on Friday just after Turkish shelling nearby, a Kurdish spokesman mentioned. IS also mentioned it was behind a car or truck bombing there on the exact same day.
The SDF say they are holding a lot more than 12,000 suspected IS members in seven prisons, and at least four,000 of them are foreign nationals. The precise places have not been revealed, but some are reportedly close to the Turkish border.
Two camps – Roj and Ain Issa – holding households of suspected IS members are inside the “secure zone”.
On Friday the Kurdish-led authorities mentioned discussions had been beneath way on how to move the Ain Issa camp, which had been hit by shelling.
Turkey says it will take duty for the IS prisoners it identified throughout its offensive.
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