Kurdish militia 'kill Turkish soldier' in Syria

Turkish soldiers prepare their tanks and secure the road ahead of a move towards the Syrian border

Turkish soldiers prepare their tanks and secure the road ahead of a move towards the Syrian

"Based on the cease-fire agreement there was supposed to be a corridor to evacuate the wounded and civilians trapped in Ras al-Ain but that condition was not implemented", Redur Khalil, a spokesman and senior SDF official told The Wall Street Journal.

Both sides accuse each other of repeatedly violating the three-day-old ceasefire.

Turkey's offensive in northeastern Syria falls foul of worldwide law, Germany's Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said Sunday.

But Turkish-backed Syrian rebels who took control of most of Ras al-Ain last week amid a Turkish offensive into northeast Syria launched on October 9 disputed that claim, saying the Kurdish forces were still entrenched in almost thirty percent of the area, the Reuters news agency reported.

It also accused Kurdish fighters of carrying out 14 "attacks and harassments" in the past 36 hours.

Two days into the cease-fire, the border town of Ras al-Ayn has been the sticking point in moving forward.

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Turkish and Kurdish leaders accused each other of violating a US-brokered truce in north-eastern Syria, even as it appeared to be taking hold on its second day yesterday.

On Saturday, medical convoys were able to enter for the first time into neighbourhoods still in the hands of the Kurdish fighters, delivering medical supplies and bringing out 30 wounded and four dead.

Kurdish officials say the evacuation of the town of Ras al-Ayn will be followed by a withdrawal of their forces from a broader section of the border with Turkey, a central requirement of the cease-fire deal. "20 harassments/violations were committed by PKK/YPG terrorists", it said.

If Kurdish fighters then pull back from the 120-kilometres (75 miles) border area, it is uncertain what the arrangement would be along the rest of the northeastern border, most of which remains exclusively in the hands of Kurdish-led fighters.

The US troops that had been deployed near the Turkish boder have pulled back to areas not affected by the invasion but have not yet left the country. But significant issues remain.

The PKK/YPG terrorists have violated the safe zone deal with the USA 20 times since it came into effect on October 17, according to Turkish Defense Ministry on October 20.

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Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has given a press briefing on a temporary ceasefire deal amid its offensive against Kurdish-led fighters in northern Syria.

On Saturday, the truce was holding along the border, with just a few Turkish military vehicles crossing, a Reuters reporter at the scene said. "The clock is ticking", Altun wrote on Twitter nearly 60 hours after Turkey agreed to pause its military operation in northern Syria.

Turkey considers the Syrian Kurdish groups terrorists for their links to a decades-long Kurdish insurgency inside Turkey. It says any presence of the group along its borders is an existential threat. It cited a list of Kurdish attacks around and across the border.

Vice President Mike Pence traveled to Turkey last week to negotiate a halt to the fighting as US troops stationed in northeastern Syria prepared to withdraw.

The Turkish campaign marks a pivotal moment in the Syrian war, as the USA withdrawal from the region has created a vacuum for the government of Bashar al-Assad and his allies, Russian Federation and Iran, to fill. His spokesperson said he will tell Putin that Ankara does not want either Syrian forces or Kurdish fighters along the border because refugees would not go back to areas under their control.

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