AT LEAST 14 people have been killed – including five civilians and a journalist – in a Turkish air raid on a convoy of civilians in Syria today, according to reports.
The guarded convoy was hit when it arrived at the Syrian border town of Ras al-Ain, that Turkish-allied forces have seized.
The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (Sohr) said the death toll for the strike was 14.
Several foreign journalists were with the convoy when it was struck, according to France 2 television journalist Stéphanie Perez.
She tweeted: “We were in the convoy of Kurdish civilians targeted by Turkish forces and their allies at Ras al Ain. Our team is fine, but some colleagues are dead.”
A Kurdish news agency Hawar said one of its reporters was killed.
Images purporting to show the attack show a blast shatter an otherwise quiet street.
Bodies are seen strewn across the road in disturbing unverified footage too gruesome to show.
The Turkish attack began when US forces backing the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) withdrew from part of the Syrian-Turkish border last week.
The SDF, a major ally of the US against ISIS, called it a “stab in the back”.
On Sunday Mark Esper, the US defence secretary, said around 1,000 US troops stationed in northern Syria would be pulled out after learning that Turkey planned to extend its incursion further south and west than originally planned.
The aim is to force out Kurdish forces, which Turkey views as terrorists.
130,000 CIVILIANS FLEE HOMES
It wants to drive them back from a “safe zone” reaching 30km into Syria.
Mr Esper said they may be seeking help from Syria and Russia and the US would not be defending them.
The Assad regime has now announced it is sending troops north to face Turkish forces after agreeing a deal with the Kurds.
More than 130,000 people have fled homes near the conflict, the UN said, warning the figure could soon triple.
Mr Esper said the Kurds have been good partners “but at the same time, we didn’t sign up to fight the Turks on their behalf.”
He disputed the notion that the US could have stopped Turkey from invading in the first place.
He said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had made clear he was going to launch his incursion “regardless of what we did.”
Around 950 ISIS supporters escaped a holding camp amid clashes between invading Turkish-led forces and Kurdish fighters.
IT’S NOT FAIR!
Actor who played Kevin the Teenager’s dad dies aged 81
BMW SAVED MY LIFE
Schoolboy, 14, survives horror crash after BMW automatically dials 999
EuroMillions winner CLAIMS £170M jackpot making them richer than Ed Sheeran
FREED TO JUMP
Suicidal woman, 24, jumps to death just 58 mins after release from hospital
UK’S BEST COUNCIL FLATS?
Council flats with sea views near £10m homes cost £270 a month
It is feared an ISIS resurgence now seems more likely – just months after Trump declared the extremists defeated.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab have urged Mr Erdogan to halt the incursion, saying it could undermine the fight against ISIS and worsen the humanitarian crisis in the war-ravaged region.
The assault against the Syrian Kurds has been widely condemned by Western powers.