Turkey’s week-long assault has created a new humanitarian crisis in Syria with at least 190,000 civilians taking flight, a security alert over thousands of Islamic State fighters abandoned in Kurdish jails, and a political maelstrom at home for Trump. Aid agencies have warned over potentially catastrophic water shortages, and other public health issues.
A member of the Syrian Kurdish force says its fighters will not pull back from border towns, asserting that an agreement with Turkey to vacate those areas “will not work.”
The fighter spoke Friday while Ras al Ain, a town on the border, was shelled from Turkey despite the cease-fire agreement brokered overnight between the U.S. and Turkey. The Syrian Kurdish forces say they will abide by the cease-fire.
But the Kurdish fighter says the agreement — which asks them to withdraw — is an “insult” to the force. He says the Kurds will not give up their land. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to reporters.
A spokesman for the Syrian Kurdish forces says a border town remains besieged and is being shelled by Turkey and its allied forces, despite a cease-fire agreement.
Mervan, a spokesman for the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, said Friday his group’s militiamen are not withdrawing in accordance with the cease-fire deal reached overnight because the town of Ras al Ain remains besieged. He says Turkey and allied fighters continue to target the town.
The Kurdish Red Crescent said its vehicles can’t reach Ras al Ain to evacuate the wounded.