The Latest: Turkish proxy forces clash with Syria’s Kurds

BEIRUT (AP) — The Latest on Turkey’s invasion of northern Syria (all times local):

2:00 p.m.

A war monitor group says Turkey-backed Syrian fighters have clashed in several locations with Kurdish forces, in possible violations of a U.S.-brokered cease-fire in northern Syria.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Saturday that the Turkish proxy forces crossed into Syria east of Ras al-Ayn to a village where clashes have been ongoing since Friday.

Washington brokered a five-day cease-fire late Thursday meant to slow down a Turkish offensive on the Kurdish-held region across the border.

Ankara wants the Kurdish forces to vacate a large zone along its borders.

On Saturday, Syrian state media said Syrian government forces — newly deployed south of Ras al-Ayn to boost Syrian Kurdish attempts to fend off the invasion — have clashed with the Turkish-backed forces.


1:30 p.m.

Turkey’s interior minister says 41 suspected Islamic State members were re-captured after fleeing a detention camp earlier this week in Syria, amid heavy fighting between Turkish and Kurdish forces.

Suleyman Soylu said that 195 other suspected IS members had already been re-taken.

His comments were carried by Turkish television on Saturday.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has accused Syrian Kurdish forces of releasing some 750 IS members and families, amid Turkey’s offensive.

Private IHA news agency said the Turkish nationals among the re-captured were brought over to Turkey in vans, where Erdogan said they would be imprisoned and tried.

Turkey’s state-run English language broadcaster TRT World said the IS members and families were captured by Turkey-backed Syrian opposition forces. The foreign nationals, many of them Europeans, would be transferred to a Turkey-controlled zone in northern Aleppo, according to the broadcaster.


11:15 a.m.

Syrian Kurdish forces say Turkey is failing to abide by terms of a U.S.-brokered cease-fire, refusing to lift a siege it imposed on a key border town in northeastern Syria 30 hours after the truce went into effect.

The Syrian Democratic Forces called Saturday on U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, who negotiated the deal with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to take responsibility for enforcing the five-day cease-fire.

The cease-fire got off to a rocky start, with sporadic fighting and shelling around Ras al-Ayn Friday. The border town is a test for the deal in which Turkey asks that Kurdish fighters vacate the frontier zone.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Saturday that Turkey-backed Syrian fighters have prevented a medical convoy from reaching Ras al-Ayn since Friday.

Categories: International News