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Mourners attend a funeral, for Kurdish political leader Hevrin Khalaf and others in the Kurdish town of Derik on 13 October 2019.

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AFP

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Dozens have been killed considering that the assault against Kurdish forces in Syria started on Wednesday

The Kurds in Syria say the Syrian government has agreed to send its army to the northern border to attempt to halt Turkey’s offensive against them.

Syrian state media earlier reported that government forces had been deployed to the north.

It follows the US selection to pull all its remaining troops from the region more than the “untenable” predicament there.

The Turkish assault, launched final week, is aimed at forcing Kurdish forces from along the border region.

Places beneath manage of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the primary US ally in the region, have come beneath heavy bombardment more than the weekend, with Turkey creating gains in two essential border towns.

Dozens of civilians and fighters have been killed on each sides.

In a separate improvement on Sunday, Kurdish officials stated practically 800 relatives of foreign Islamic State (IS) members had escaped from Ain Issa, a camp in the north, as clashes raged nearby.

The Turkish offensive and US withdrawal has drawn an international outcry, as the SDF had been the primary Western allies in the battle against IS in Syria.

But Turkey views the Kurdish groups inside the force as terrorists and says it desires to drive them away from a “protected zone” reaching 30km into Syria.

It also plans to resettle far more than 3 million Syrian refugees at present in Turkey inside the zone. Lots of of them are not Kurds. Critics have warned this could lead to ethnic cleansing of the nearby Kurdish population.

What do we know about the deal?

The Kurdish-led administration in northern Syria stated the Syrian army would deploy along the complete length of the border as element of the agreement.

This deployment would help the SDF in countering “this aggression and liberating the locations that the Turkish army and mercenaries had entered”, it stated in a statement.

The move also “paves the way to liberate the rest of the Syrian cities occupied by the Turkish army such as Afrin”, it added.

Turkish forces and pro-Turkey Syrian rebels forced Kurdish fighters from Afrin back in 2018 right after a two-month operation.

The deal represents a substantial shift in alliances for the Kurds, right after losing the military protection of their extended-term US partners in the region.

It follows US President Donald Trump’s surprise move final week to pull dozens of troops from pockets in the north-east, correctly paving the way for the Turkish operation against the Kurdish fighters.

At the time, the SDF referred to as the move “a stab in the back”.

What about the most current US withdrawal?

US Defence Secretary Mark Esper earlier announced the Pentagon was moving up to 1,000 troops away from the north right after understanding that Turkey was pushing additional into Syria than previously anticipated.

Describing the predicament there as “untenable”, he stated the SDF had been “searching to reduce a deal” with the Syrian government and its Russian allies to counter the Turkish attack.

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Media captionTurkey “probably intends” to push west and south, says US Defence Secretary Mark Esper

This, he continued, would leave the US forces stuck among “two opposing advancing armies”.

Hours right after Mr Esper’s comments, Syria stated it was deploying its forces to the north to “confront a Turkish aggression”. It is not however clear exactly where precisely the troops are becoming sent.

On Sunday, President Trump tweeted that it was “incredibly clever” not to be involved in the fighting “for a adjust”, saying engagement in Middle East conflict was a error.

What has Turkey seized so far ?

Turkey is pushing deeper into northern Syria.

On Sunday, President Erdogan stated his forces had currently captured 109 sq km (42 square miles) of territory, which includes 21 villages.

He told reporters the essential border town of Ras al-Ain had come beneath Turkish manage – although the SDF stated they had pushed Turkish forces back to the town’s outskirts.

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Media captionTurkish-backed forces enter the border town of Tal Abyad

Mr Erdogan stated Turkish forces had also besieged the town of Tal Abyad, some 120km (75 miles) away.

The UK-primarily based monitoring group the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) stated Turkey was in pretty much total manage there.

Each Ras al-Ain and Tal Abyad are essential targets in the Turkish offensive against the Kurdish-led SDF forces.

Turkey also announced that its Syrian allies on the ground had seized a essential motorway – referred to as M4 – some 30-35km south of the border.

What are the casualty figures?

They are increasing, with civilians killed on each sides of the border:

  • Additional than 50 civilians and more than 100 Kurdish fighters killed in north-eastern Syria, SOHR says
  • SDF says the Kurdish forces’ death toll is 56 and Turkey provides a greater figure of 440
  • Eighteen civilians killed in southern Turkey, according to Turkish reports
  • 4 Turkish soldiers and 16 pro-Turkish Syrian fighters killed in Syria, Turkey says

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Media captionThe BBC’s Martin Patience explains what is behind the conflict

What about IS?

The fighting has spilled more than to locations close to IS detainee camps.

Fears that Kurdish forces will be unable to preserve IS prisoners confined appeared to have been realised when officials at the Ain Issa camp stated practically 800 relatives of foreign IS members had escaped.

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Media captionAmira, Heba and Hamza are stranded, in danger and they want to come property

The SOHR stated the quantity of men and women who fled was 100. It not recognized exactly where they have fled to.

The camp holds about 12,000 displaced men and women, previously which includes practically 1,000 foreign ladies and young children with jihadist hyperlinks.

  • Will Islamic State re-emerge?

The SDF says it is at present holding far more than 12,000 suspected IS members in seven prisons, and at least four,000 of them are foreign nationals.

IS has claimed current auto bombings and on Saturday declared a new campaign in Syria.

Turkey says it will take duty for IS prisoners it finds in the course of its offensive.

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