Turkey claims capture of key Syrian border town

He warned that the Turkish operation was opening the way for IS to regroup.

Local residents applaud as a convoy of Turkish forces trucks transporting tanks is driven in Sanliurfa province, southeastern Turkey, at the border with Syria, Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019.

On the Turkish side of the border, three more civilians were reported killed on Saturday from Kurdish shelling and rocket fire, Turkish authorities said, bringing the civilian death toll there to 10.

Turkey on Wednesday launched Operation Peace Spring east of the Euphrates River in northern Syria to secure its borders by eliminating terrorist elements and to ensure the safe return of Syrian refugees and Syria's territorial integrity.

The commander of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces told a senior United States diplomat, "You are leaving us to be slaughtered", demanding to know whether the USA is going to do anything to protect Syrian Kurds as Turkey continues its military operation targeting America's Kurdish allies in Syria.

OCHA said the Turkish bombardment had affected key civilian infrastructure such as water stations.

Turkey's Defence Ministry said its forces did not open fire at the United States base and took all precautions to prevent any harm to it while it was responding to fire from a nearby area by the Kurdish YPG militia, which Ankara regards as a terrorist group.

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A Turkish newspaper, Yeni Safak, trumpeted her killing as a "successful operation" against a politician affiliated with the "terrorist" People's Democratic Union, the Kurdish political party that runs northeast Syria.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a monitoring group, a total of nine civilians were executed on Saturday at the roadblock to the south of the town of Tal Abyad. "So the Kurds that we've been talking to say they are soon going to face a campaign of genocide, a campaign of ethnic cleansing that President Trump gave the green light to". However, there is a risk they may flee amid the offensive while the SDF are fending for themselves, trying to repulse multiple ground attacks along a roughly 120-kilometre (75-mile) stretch of the border.

A total of 21,400 families have been displaced from Hasakah as a result of the Turkish assault, he said, adding the SDF fighters are setting up mortar launchers in residential areas to "protect themselves".

A day earlier, unknown people wrote slogans on the walls of the Turkish embassy condemning the military operation and calling President Recep Erdogan a "criminal".

The Kurds have made clear they feel betrayed by Mr Trump's withdrawal of USA forces.

"We don't mediate, negotiate with terrorists. The only thing to be done is for these terrorists to lay down arms", Cavusoglu told German broadcaster Deutsche Welle.

Several thousand Kurds and sympathisers demonstrated on Saturday afternoon in Zurich against the Turkish offensive in northern Syria.

  • Sonia Alvarado