ISTANBUL/BEIRUT: Turkey’s army says an attack by Kurdish fighters in northeast Syria has killed one of its personnel and wounded five others, bringing Turkey’s military death toll to 11 since the launch of its operation.
In a tweet Sunday, the military said the attack occurred near the border town of Ras Al-Ain where its forces were conducting reconnaissance. The area falls within a 30 kilometers deep border zone Kurdish forces are withdrawing from, under a US-backed cease-fire.
Despite that cease-fire and a second brokered by Russia, occasional skirmishes have continued. The Turkish military said its forces responded “within the framework of self-defense” to the rockets, mortars and heavy machine gun attack.
A 150-hour truce brokered by Russia, allowing Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fighters to complete their withdrawal, runs out Tuesday evening.
Meanwhile, the SDF said on Sunday they agreed to re-deploy away from the Syria-Turkey border, in accordance with the agreement.
The Kurdish-led SDF said Syrian government forces will deploy along the border. It called on Russia to guarantee starting dialogue between the Syrian government and the Kurdish-led administration in northeast Syria.
Syrian government welcomed the withdrawal of SDF forces, saying it “removes main pretext for flagrant Turkish aggression on territory.”