ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Syrian Democratic Force (SDF) on Tuesday accused Turkey and Turkish-backed groups of violating a ceasefire, killing at least 68 civilians.
“Turkish forces have not stopped their interference in the security and stability of the region” since Ankara launched its assault against the SDF on Oct. 9, the Kurdish-led forces said in a statement.
Since Oct 17th ceasefire deal, Turkish army and its proxies violated the agreement more than 200 times by attacking areas outside the designated safe zone with artillery, drones and ground incursions. SDF will issue a detailed statement on the issue later today.— Mustafa Bali (@mustefabali) December 3, 2019
According to the SDF, the Turkish army is targeting areas far outside of the designated safe zone between Tal Abyad and Ras al-Ain.
Persistent attacks and clashes have taken place near the town of Tal Tamr and Ain Issa.
On Monday, two Syrian government soldiers were killed in a village 15 kilometers northwest of Ain Issa.
Elsewhere, on Monday, at least 11 civilians were killed in a Turkish artillery attack in Tal Rifaat.
The attacks occur while Turkey has accused the SDF of “harassing” Turkish troops, and despite Ankara’s claims that it would not target civilians.
However, the SDF says the “Turkish army and its mercenaries” have used “all kinds of heavy weaponry, artillery, and drones” to launch attacks in areas outside of the safe zone.
“A large number of SDF fighters and civilians were martyred due to the attacks on the positions of Syrian Democratic Forces, Syriac Military Council, and civilian settlements as well as the displacement of thousands of people.”
The Kurdish-led forces also claim the heavy drone and artillery attacks have enabled Turkish-backed groups to extend control beyond the agreed zone, carrying out an alleged 143 ground incursions on SDF and Syrian army positions.
Moreover, Turkey carried out 42 drone strikes and “147 tank and artillery attacks on civilian settlements and areas outside of the safe zone” since the Oct. 17 ceasefire deal.
During the attacks, 68 civilians were killed and 214 others injured.
The Turkish backed groups and the Turkish army also reportedly attacked 88 villages and towns, where they positioned Turkish-backed groups.
At least 64,000 civilians, including many Christians, were displaced as the attacks led to the evacuation of six Assyrian villages near Tel Tamr, the SDF concluded.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany