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Clashes ongoing between Syrian Kurdish forces, Turkey amid ceasefire

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The Syrian Democratic Council (SDC), the political wing of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), said clashes between Syrian Kurdish forces and Turkey were ongoing on Sunday despite a ceasefire agreement, according to Kurdistan 24.


Clashes in northern Syria’s Serekaniye area were reported at approximately 10:40 a.m. local time.

Turkey’s Defense Ministry, meanwhile, claimed its soldiers suffered casualties on Sunday in an alleged attack by Syrian Kurdish forces in northeast Syria.

According to a statement from the Turkish defense ministry, the incident took place in the Tal Abyad border area.

The statement said one soldier was killed and another wounded following alleged “anti-tank and small arms fire” by the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG). It added that the Turkish troops returned fire.

There has been no comment from the YPG regarding the Turkish claims at the time of publishing this report.

 

The Turkish defense ministry’s claims present an interesting dynamic in the controversial ceasefire agreement brokered by the United States into the second week of Turkey’s military incursion into areas in northern Syria that are run by the SDC.

On Saturday, the SDC called on the US administration to pressure Turkey to implement the ceasefire after claims Turkey was not abiding by the truce.

Ankara wants the Kurdish elements of the SDF, the YPG, to withdraw from the Turkish border up to about 32 kilometers southward.

As per the purported ceasefire, the YPG, whom Turkey considers an extension of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and, therefore, a terrorist organization, has 120 hours to make its withdrawal, which started on Friday.

Turkey has said it aims to settle close to 3.5 million Syrian refugees into the 32-kilometer deep and 440-kilometer wide so-called safe zone.

According to the SDC, 235 civilians have been killed and at least 300,000 displaced since the start of Turkey’s military offensive.

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