Turkish-Russian patrols pelted by residents in north Syria

Kurdish demonstrators hurl rocks at a Turkish military vehicle on Friday, during a joint Turkish-Russian patrol near the town of Al-Muabbadah on the Syrian border with Turkey. (AFP)
Updated 09 November 2019

Turkish-Russian patrols pelted by residents in north Syria

  • The UN said on Friday that 92 civilians have died so far as a result of Turkey’s incursion into northern Syria

IDLIB/TURKEY: Local residents on Friday pelted with shoes and stones Turkish and Russian troops who were conducting their third joint patrol in northeastern Syria, under a cease-fire deal brokered by Moscow that forced Kurdish fighters to withdraw from areas bordering Turkey. The patrols are aimed at allowing Turkey to ensure that the Syrian Kurdish groups have evacuated the border zone. The agreement with Russia — and a separate one with the US — halted the Turkish invasion of Syria last month that targeted groups it considers a security threat for their links to a Kurdish insurgency inside Turkey.
The pelting of the Turkish-Russian patrol occurred east of the border town of Qamishli, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition war monitor, and the Kurdish Hawar news agency. Videos from the area showed men, women and children pelting armored vehicles as they drove near a cemetery before speeding away.
There was no immediate comment from the Russian or Turkish military about the incident that appears not to have caused damage to the vehicles.
Turkey’s Defense Ministry said the troops were patrolling a region between Qamishli and Derik, east of the Euphrates River. It said the patrols were being supported by drones, but provided no further details.

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92 - civilians have died so far as a result of Turkey’s incursion into northern Syria, according to the UN.

An Associated Press journalist saw four Turkish armored personnel carriers cross into Syria to join the Russian forces.
Mutafa Bali, a spokesman for the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), tweeted that Turkish troops fired tear gas on protesters in Derik, injuring 10 people. The town is controlled by SDF and American forces, but the Turkish troops were passing through on the patrol.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan complained this week that Syrian Kurdish fighters were still present in areas along the border, despite the separate agreements with Russia and the US.
Erdogan also said Turkish troops were being attacked by some Syrian Kurdish fighters from areas they had retreated to, adding that Turkey would not “remain a spectator” to these assaults.
The UN said on Friday that 92 civilians have died so far as a result of Turkey’s incursion into northern Syria. Rupert Colville, a spokesman for the UN human rights office, said the death toll was based on “verified incidents” that included to Nov. 5.
Also in northern Syria, the Observatory and the Thiqa news agency, an activist collective, said on Friday a suicide attacker detonated a truck outside a police station in the northern town of Rai that is controlled by Turkey-backed opposition fighters.
The Observatory said the blast killed three people, while Thiqa reported two civilian deaths.
Bombings in areas held by Turkey-backed opposition fighters in northern Syria are not uncommon. Last week, 13 people were killed in a blast in the town of Tal Abyad, which Turkish troops and opposition fighters they back captured last month.


Israeli PM: Palestinians in Jordan Valley won’t be citizens

Updated 37 min 27 sec ago

Israeli PM: Palestinians in Jordan Valley won’t be citizens

  • Netanyahu has vowed to press ahead with plans to annex the Jordan Valley

JERUSALEM: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday that Palestinians living in the Jordan Valley will remain in what he described as an “enclave” after Israel annexes the territory and will not be granted Israeli citizenship.
Netanyahu has vowed to press ahead with plans to annex the Jordan Valley and Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank, in line with President Donald Trump’s Middle East plan, a process that could begin as early as July 1.
The annexation of the Jordan Valley and the far-flung settlements would make it virtually impossible to create a viable Palestinian state alongside Israel, which is still widely seen as the only way to resolve the decades-old conflict.
In an interview with the Israel Hayom newspaper, Netanyahu said Palestinians in the Jordan Valley, including residents of the city of Jericho, would remain under limited Palestinian self-rule, with Israel having overall security control.
“They will remain a Palestinian enclave,” he said. “You’re not annexing Jericho. There’s a cluster or two. You don’t need to apply sovereignty over them. They will remain Palestinian subjects, if you will. But security control also applies to these places.”
Palestinians in the West Bank have lived under Israeli military rule since the 1967 war, when Israel captured the territory, along with east Jerusalem and Gaza. The Palestinians want all three territories to form their future state.
The Trump plan would grant the Palestinians limited statehood over scattered enclaves surrounded by Israel if they meet a long list of conditions. Israel has embraced the plan, while the Palestinian Authority, which administers parts of the West Bank, has angrily rejected it and cut ties with the US and Israel.
Netanyahu said that if the Palestinians accept all the conditions in the plan, including Israel maintaining overall security control, “then they will have an entity of their own that President Trump defines as a state.”
Under a coalition agreement reached last month, Netanyahu can bring his annexation plans before the government as early as July 1.
The Palestinian Authority has said it is no longer bound by any agreements signed with Israel and the US, and says it has cut off security coordination with Israel. Neighboring Jordan, a close Western ally and one of only two Arab states to have made peace with Israel, has warned of a “massive conflict” if Israel proceeds with annexation.