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Turkey-backed Syrian opposition fighters going to Tel Abyad from Turkish gate towards Syria in Akcakale in Sanliurfa province on October 10, 2019 - Sputnik International

Live Updates: Turkish Defence Ministry Says 228 'PKK-YPG Terrorists' Killed in Northern Syria

Earlier in the day, the Turkish Defence Ministry announced that the country's forces had seized designated targets and the military operation is continuing successfully as planned.

The Turkey-backed Syrian National Army, previously known as the Free Syrian Army, has entered the territories east of Euphrates to support Ankara's offensive, dubbed the Peace Spring Operation, Daily Sabah reported.

Earlier in the day, an official from the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said that heavy clashes continued in the Syrian villages that the Turkish forces are trying to enter.

On 9 October, Turkey launched a military operation in Northern Syria against Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK), which Ankara considers to be a terrorist organisation, and its armed wing: the People’s Protection Units (YPG). Ankara claims that the offensive is aimed at clearing the border area of terrorists and creating a security zone.

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22:30 GMT 10.10.2019

"Nine more PKK/PYD-YPG terrorists neutralized in air operation within the scope of Operation Peace Spring. A total of 228 terrorists neutralized so far since Turkey started Operation Peace Spring in northern Syria", the ministry said, cited by the Anadolu news agency.

21:34 GMT 10.10.2019

"The overall number of PKK-YPG [People's Protection Units (PKK-YPG)] terrorists who were neutralized during the successfully ongoing Operation Peace Spring to the east of the Euphrates is 219 people", the ministry said in a statement.


21:03 GMT 10.10.2019

Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Do Maio summoned the Turkish ambassador to Italy in protest over the ongoing operation. The ambassador was received by Marina Sereni, the deputy minister for foreign affairs and international cooperation, who at their meeting firmly condemned Ankara's actions in Syria's northeast, according to a statement released by the Italian Foreign Ministry.

Sereni stressed that such actions undermined results achieved in the struggle against the Daesh terrorist group by members of the international coalition, which included both Italy and Turkey.

The deputy foreign minister also stated that the military operation could lead to serious humanitarian consequences and the civilian population should be protected.

18:48 GMT 10.10.2019

Norwegian Foreign Minister Ine Marie Eriksen Soreide has announced that her country ceases reviewing Turkey's requests for military products due to Ankara's ongoing military operation in northeastern Syria.

"As the situation is unclear and changes constantly, the Norwegian Foreign Ministry discontinues reviewing requests on Turkey's export licenses for defence equipment and multi-purpose military products," the minister said, as quoted by Dagbladet newspaper.

Soreide also expressed concern regarding Turkey's actions, especially their humanitarian ramifications.

"We are monitoring the situation with deep concern and repeat our call for Turkey to cease the military operation and observe the international law ... We are especially concerned about the humanitarian situation for the civilian population," the minister added.

18:39 GMT 10.10.2019

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Sisi denounced Turkey’s operation against Kurdish militia as an affront to Syria’s sovereignty.

"Egypt denounces the aggression against Syria’s territory and sovereignty as it violates international law," the Egyptian president stated during a bilateral meeting with King of Jordan Abdullah II in Cairo, adding that Turkey’s actions will have far-reaching negative consequences on the Syrian peace process and the stability in the region as a whole.

18:32 GMT 10.10.2019

The French Foreign Minister has called for an emergency meeting of the coalition created to fight Daesh* to discuss Turkey's military operation against Kurdish militias in northern Syria.

"France wants this international coalition, which has exhibited solidarity so far, to be able to assemble urgently to determine the responsibility of everyone - both Turkey and all members of the coalition," Le Drian said in an interview with France 2 television.

The minister also warned that Daesh* could take advantage of the current developments in Syria. 

*Daesh (also known as IS/ISIS/ISIL/Islamic State) is a terrorist group banned in Russia

18:23 GMT 10.10.2019

The United States warned Turkey about the possible consequences it will face if Ankara fails to protect vulnerable civilians and restrain Daesh* fighters amid the military operation in northern Syria, US Permanent Representative to the United Nations Kelly Craft told reporters on Thursday.

"Turkey is now responsible for ensuring that all ISIS [IS] fighters in detention, in prison remain in prison and that ISIS does not reconstitute itself in any way, shape or form. Failure to play by the rules, to protect vulnerable populations, failure to guarantee that ISIS cannot exploit these actions to reconstitute will have consequences," Craft said.

*Daesh (also known as IS/ISIS/ISIL/Islamic State) is a terrorist group banned in Russia.

17:22 GMT 10.10.2019

According to the Turkish Defence Ministry, 174 'terrorists' have been killed since the beginning of military operations in northeastern Syria. 

"As part of Operation Peace Spring another 19 terrorists from the PKK and the Self-Defence Forces have been neutralized. The total number of killed terrorists now stands at 174," the ministry’s statement says.

Turkish troops - Sputnik International
Turkey-Based Association of Syrian Kurds Voices Support for Ankara’s Military Operation – Reports
17:08 GMT 10.10.2019

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Thursday that he strongly condemns Turkey's military offensive in northeastern Syria and called for an immediate end to it.

"I strongly condemn Turkey's unilateral military operation in Syria. I call on Turkey to end it as soon as possible," Macron said at a press conference.

The French president said that the Turkish operation could lead to an exacerbated humanitarian crisis in the war-torn country and that the Islamic State terrorist group (IS, banned in Russia) might regain momentum and re-form the so-called Islamic caliphate in Syria.

17:01 GMT 10.10.2019

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) believes that it is premature to talk about the exact humanitarian aftermath of the newly launched Turkish offensive in Syria but stands ready to adapt its activities to the needs of civilians on the ground, ICRC President Peter Maurer told Sputnik in an interview.

"It is still very early to foresee exactly the humanitarian consequence. The [military] operation started and our concern is of course for the civilian population on the one side, but also for access of ICRC to the difficult area," Maurer said.

He noted that the organization had operations in the northeast and was now closely following the situation.

"We will see over the next couple of days how we can best scale our operations to possibly emerging needs," the Red Cross chief said.

16:35 GMT 10.10.2019
16:32 GMT 10.10.2019

The United Nations will boost its humanitarian operations in the areas adjacent to the places Turkey is conducting military operations in Syria, UN spokesman Farhan Haq said in a press briefing on Thursday.

“We are not located in the region where the conflict is taking place,” Haq said. “We have humanitarian personnel in other areas where we believe people may be departing as they flee for safety. And so, we will be scaling up our operations in the nearby areas.”

16:28 GMT 10.10.2019

Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Do Maio on Thursday summoned the Turkish ambassador in Italy in protest over the ongoing Turkish military operation in northeastern Syria.

"What is happening in Syria - the Turkish offensive, the denial of the rights of the local populations and of the Kurdish people in particular, and killing of civilians – this all is unacceptable, and we cannot look the other way ... Italy, I repeat, condemns the initiative of Ankara, and for this reason a while ago I gave instructions to summon the Turkish ambassador to the foreign ministry," Di Maio wrote on his Facebook page.

16:20 GMT 10.10.2019

Syrian Arab tribes clashed with the Kurdish militia in a declaration of support for Turkey’s Operation Peace Spring, Anadolu Agency reported.

Local Arabs took up arms against the Kurdish People’s Protection Units in the border town of Ras al-Ayn and surrounding Syrian villages a day after Turkey announced the operation.

The Turkish news agency also said that a council of tribe leaders had voiced support for Turkey’s actions in the region.

15:58 GMT 10.10.2019

Turkish forces supported by Syrian rebels have encircled the towns of Ras al-Ain and Tel Abyad in northeast Syria that are being held by Kurds, Reuters reported citing a spokesman for the rebels.

15:50 GMT 10.10.2019

Ilham Ahmed, the co-chair of the Syrian Democratic Council (SDC), the political wing of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), pointed to the ongoing fight of the SDF against Daesh amid Turkey's operation in the north of Syria.

"There are still some sleeping cells of Daesh in Syria and they are ready to wake up again. And the SDF fight, the war against Daesh, is still going on," Ahmed said at a panel alongside European politicians.

15:48 GMT 10.10.2019

A total of six people have been killed and 70 injured so far in the bombardment of the Turkish border towns of Akcakale, Nusaybin and Ceylanpinar by Syrian Kurds' militia, Turkish NTV television reported on Thursday.

Akchakale mayor's office earlier reported three dead during the bombardment of the town, including a 10-month-old child.

15:20 GMT 10.10.2019

Germany calls on Turkey to end its military operation in northeastern Syria, Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations Jurgen Schultz told reporters on Thursday.

"We call on Turkey to cease its operation and pursue its security interests in a peaceful manner," Schultz said.

15:07 GMT 10.10.2019

The Pakistani authorities appreciate Turkey's efforts to reach a political solution to ongoing the Syrian conflict and acknowledge its interest in the Middle East, Mohammad Faisal, the spokesperson for Pakistan's Foreign Ministry, said on Thursday.

"We appreciate Turkey’s positive role in finding a viable political solution to the conflict in Syria. We also acknowledge Turkey’s humanitarian efforts by graciously hosting over 3.5 million Syrian refugees. We recognize Turkey’s legitimate security concerns in the region. Like Pakistan, Turkey has also been a victim of terrorism," Faisal said.

He added that Pakistan supported Syria's territorial integrity and expressed hoped that the Syrian conflict would be resolved with everyone's interests taken into account.

14:01 GMT 10.10.2019

Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades condemned on Thursday the Turkish military operation in northern Syria, calling it arbitrary and unjustified.

"[The Turkish operation is] another unacceptable and arbitrary activity of Turkey, which is being condemned, at least by our own family, the EU, and I do not think that it is justified in any way," Anastasiades said, as quoted by the Cyprus News Agency.


13:34 GMT 10.10.2019
13:28 GMT 10.10.2019

Numerous ethnic groups in northeastern Syria, not just the Kurds, are now in great danger after Turkey started a ground military operation that may, among other objectives, seek a change in the demographic composition of Syria, Fikret Igrek, President of the Yazidi Diaspora Council of Sinjar, a town in Iraqi Kurdistan close to northeastern Syria, said.

"This step [the Turkish operation] does not aim to maintain the territorial integrity of Syria or build a democratic regime but to operate on Syrian territory and change its demographic structure. The intervention itself and its objectives will severely violate the most fundamental principles of international law. The destruction and population engineering [changing the demographic composition] caused by such an intervention will also fall into the category of a crime against humanity with respect to the international law," Igrek said.

As of Thursday, Turkey has already conducted airstrikes in the border area and announced the beginning of a ground offensive. According to recent statements by the Kurdish Democratic Progressive Party of Syria, dozens of civilians have been killed, hundreds injured and thousands displaced since the start of the incursion.

"The peoples of Northern Syria, who sacrificed tens of thousands of people and resisted for their freedom in the fight against ISIS, are now faced with threats and chaos once again. Not only the Kurds but also the Arabs, Turkmens, Assyrians, Armenians and Yazidis inhabiting the region are in great danger," Igrek said.

Yazidis are ethnically close to Kurds. During the IS offensive in northern Iraq in 2014, in which terrorists took control also over Mosul, Yazidis suffered massacres, persecution and forced conversion. The People's Protection Units (YPG), a mainly-Kurdish group on Syria, and the PKK helped Yazidis to flee Sinjar mountains through northern Syria and find refuge.

Igrek noted that what Syria needed now most of all was an inclusive negotiation process to end the civil war in the country. This is exactly what the Syrian Constitutional Committee, due to meet for the first time at the end of October under the UN auspices, was formed for. According to the Yazidi official, the biggest threat is "a new military intervention" in the region.

13:23 GMT 10.10.2019

UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab during his meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Thursday expressed concern over rising tensions in Syria after Turkey started its offensive against the Kurds and called on Ankara to show restraint, warning about serious humanitarian consequences.

"I’ve spoken to my Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu @MFATurkey to express the UK’s disappointment and concern about the military incursion into NE Syria, and call for restraint. The intervention risks greater humanitarian suffering and undermines the focus on countering Daesh [Islamic State terrorist group, banned in Russia]," Raab wrote on Twitter.

13:20 GMT 10.10.2019

"We have established contacts with the Syrian leadership in various areas, on various structures... so we are using established schemes here; so far no agreements have been reached on a conversation between the leaders [on Turkey's operation in Syria]," Kremlin aide Yury Ushakov told reporters Thursday.

13:07 GMT 10.10.2019

At least 18 people were injured in shelling of two Turkish border towns from the territory of Syria, Turkish media reported on Thursday.

According to Turkish NTV broadcaster, eight people were injured in Akchakal, where two projectiles hit the courtyard of the city hall. The other attacked town is Ceylanpinar. The shelling was reportedly conducted by the Kurdish militias.

12:53 GMT 10.10.2019

"Hundreds of thousands of civilians in northern Syria are now in harm’s way. Civilians and civilian infrastructure must not be a target," UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said in a statement.

The agency called on all parties involved in the conflict to adhere to international humanitarian law, including providing access to the area to aid organizations.

The agency expressed concern that the newly-launched military operation would worsen the already dire displacement situation in the Middle Eastern country, citing an estimated 5.6 million Syrian refugees and another 6.2 million Syrians that were internally displaced.

12:31 GMT 10.10.2019

"The Republic of Belarus has been following with deep concern growing tensions in northeastern Syria. We deem it important that all the parties act in accordance with joint agreements reached within the Astana peace process and refrain from actions that can lead to an escalation in this sensitive region," the ministry said.

The ministry also urged all sides concerned to resume dialogue on a political settlement with due respect for Syrian territorial integrity, which is an "inalienable factor for the country’s progressive rebuilding and development."

12:24 GMT 10.10.2019

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has spoken over the phone with his German and UK counterparts, a ministry spokesperson said on Thursday amid the harsh international condemnation of Ankara's newly launched offensive against Kurds in northeastern Syria.

"Our minister has had a phone call with German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas," the spokesperson said.

The ministry added that Cavusoglu had also held talks with his UK counterpart, Dominic Rabb.

12:21 GMT 10.10.2019

"Russia plays an important role in preserving the integrity and unity of Syria, but lately unfortunately some deals were made with Turkey. We ask Russia to clarify its positions and discuss with the Syrian people, with us rather than with Turkey to find a solution to the present war. We want peace and stability within a united Syria," Dirar said.

"We expect Russia to play a more important role in the political process, to help find a solution and impose it," the politician added.

12:15 GMT 10.10.2019

Israel condemns the Turkish offensive in northern Syria, warns against "ethnic cleansings" of the local Kurds and offers them humanitarian aid, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said in a statement on Thursday.

"Israel strongly condemns the Turkish invasion of the Kurdish areas in Syria and warns against the ethnic cleansings of the Kurds by Turkey and its proxies," the country’s first reaction to cross-border offensive reads.

"Israel is prepared to extend humanitarian assistance to the gallant Kurdish people," the statement said.

11:59 GMT 10.10.2019

The Kurdish militia operating in northern Syria shot missiles on Thursday into the Sanliurfa province in southeastern Turkey, leaving two children injured, Turkish media reported.

According to the Anadolu news agency, the anti-aircraft missiles hit three houses in the Ceylanpinar district, injuring two siblings, aged 13 and 15.

The children were reportedly delivered to a nearby hospital. Their condition remains unknown.

11:56 GMT 10.10.2019

A diplomatic source told AFP news agency that France's foreign ministry has summoned the Turkish ambassador to Paris over Ankara's air and ground offensive in northern Syria.

11:47 GMT 10.10.2019

Turkey’s incursion into northeastern Syria may frustrate its attempts to enter the European Union, as the bloc insists that the Syrian crisis can only be resolved peacefully, an EU spokeswoman said on Thursday.

"That [accession] could certainly be endangered by what happened yesterday. Turkey’s accession to the EU… means that you have to align yourself with the EU’s foreign policy," Mogherini’s spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic told reporters.

The EU fears that Turkish actions will undermine the political process in Syria, which needs to be negotiated by the Syrian parties under the UN auspices.

11:44 GMT 10.10.2019
11:40 GMT 10.10.2019

A Turkish reconnaissance aircraft have been downed near the town of al-Malikiyah in al-Hasakah Governorate as the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have been shelling Turkish border city of Akcakale.

11:27 GMT 10.10.2019

Yerevan condemns the Turkish offensive against Kurds in northeast Syria and calls for international efforts to avert "mass atrocities" and identity-based violations of human rights the military action could result in, the Armenian Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.

"Armenia condemns the military invasion by Turkey in north-east Syria, which would lead to deterioration of regional security, losses among civilians, mass displacement and eventually to a new humanitarian crisis. The plight of ethnic and religious minorities is of particular concern," the ministry said.

The ministry warned that the military action "also creates an imminent threat of identity-based grave and massive violations of human rights."

Yerevan, therefore, called for "effective international measures" to stop the operation and avert "mass atrocities."

The ministry also reaffirmed full support for Syrian sovereignty and territorial integrity, vowing to continue providing humanitarian assistance to the Arab republic.

The Armenian community used to be among the largest diasporas in Syria before the latter became caught up in a violent civil conflict in 2011. Out of roughly 110,000 of pre-war Armenian population – residing mainly in Aleppo, Damascus, Latakia, Kesab and Qamishli – at least over 70,000 have since fled the country, the Armenian Ministry of Diaspora told Sputnik back in March.

11:27 GMT 10.10.2019

Dozens of civilians were killed, hundreds injured and hundreds of thousands displaced in Turkey's attack in the north of Syria, the Kurdish Democratic Progressive Party of Syria said in a statement obtained by Sputnik.

"As a result of a blatant attack on the Syrian sovereignty, Turkish forces on October 9 launched a full-scale offensive along the Turkish-Syrian border from Kobani (Ayn al-Arab) to Al-Malikiyah targeting safe towns and villages with artillery and warplanes. Dozens of civilians were killed, hundreds injured and hundreds of thousands of people displaced to safe areas," the statement read.

11:16 GMT 10.10.2019

"We are now asked, what we will do with the jailed IS [Daesh] militants. After we seize control over the region, we will have to make sure that the IS will not be able to operate there anymore. And then we will do what we should. We will jail those who must be jailed, and we will send foreign militants, whom their countries are ready to receive, there. The IS will not be able to conduct any activities in the region, I want to guarantee this," Erdogan said in an address in Ankara.

Turkey has suffered from Daesh more than any other nation, according to the Turkish leader.

"As many as 17,000 IS members are detained in our country, most of them are not Turks. A total of 77,000 people from 155 countries are banned from entering the country [Turkey], 7,600 people have been expelled from the country," Erdogan noted.

11:09 GMT 10.10.2019

As many as 109 terrorists have been killed since the beginning of Turkey's military operation in Syria's north, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday.

"We started the operation yesterday. First, it was artillery, then aviation and ground forces arrived in the late evening. As of now, 109 terrorists have been killed, and many others have been injured or have surrendered. Black propaganda against Turkey has been launched there, with Turkey being accused of bombing civilians. These are you who attack civilians, you have no shame. We are taking measures against the black propaganda, and we are briefing the society on every step we take," Erdogan said in an address in Ankara.


11:03 GMT 10.10.2019
10:59 GMT 10.10.2019

Turkey's offensive in Syria's north will not result in any harm for civilians, as Ankara believes that none of its "Syrian brothers" must be afraid, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday.

"We cannot accept any type of harm done to civilians. Those who use weapons against us, attack us ... are targets. None of our Syrian brothers needs to be afraid," Erdogan said, as broadcast by TRT.

"We will bring peace and security to everybody, and we will disperse the black clouds above the Syrian people," he added.

10:49 GMT 10.10.2019

At least 50 US soldiers are currently withdrawing from the northeastern Syrian province of Al Hasakah along with dozens of vehicles via the Semalka border crossing, the Syrian Arab News Agency reported on Thursday.

The Semalka border crossing was set up between Iraqi Kurdistan and the areas in northeastern Syria controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces during the civil war.

10:39 GMT 10.10.2019

Ilham Ahmed, the co-chair of the Syrian Democratic Council, the political wing of the Syrian Democratic Forces, has called on the international community to recall ambassadors from Turkey amid Ankara's operation in the north of Syria.

"We call on the countries, the international community, to retreat their diplomatic embassies from Turkey," Ahmed said at the European Parliament.

10:26 GMT 10.10.2019

Kurdish forces fear they may not be able to contain members of Islamic State terrorist group (IS, Daesh, banned in Russia) in jail amid Turkey's offensive, and need support, Riyad Dirar, the co-chair of the Syrian Democratic Council, the political wing of the Syrian Democratic Forces, said Thursday.

"Yesterday in Qamishlo, one of these places [prisons] has been shelled during an attack. We fear the chaos, and that people would not be able to fight against this aggression, this will weaken the observation of the jails. The fighters of the Daesh are dangerous," Dirar said at a panel with European politicians.

"We need support to secure ... and to protect these jails," he went on to add.

10:18 GMT 10.10.2019
10:12 GMT 10.10.2019

The Turkish aviation has bombed oil facilities in Al Hasakah province, northeast of Syria, amid the ongoing offensive against Kurds, the Al Mayadeen TV channel reported on Thursday.

Rumaylah oil fields, including an oil refinery, in the northwest of the province, were targeted in the attack.

The SANA news agency, in turn, reported about a shelling of an oil pump station located in the same area near the Turkish border, with the facility "completely burned" in the attack.

09:52 GMT 10.10.2019

The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) claimed on Thursday that four Turkish tanks were destroyed and five contractors killed near the town of Ras al-Ain in northern Syria.

"SDF has destroyed four tanks of Turkish invaders on the Syrian-Turkish border near the city of Ras al-Ain. Five Turkish contractors were killed and their bodies are in SDF possession," the statement obtained by Sputnik said.

09:47 GMT 10.10.2019

"As a government, we think that the Turkish offensive initiative is unacceptable. We condemn it ... because military action in the past has always led to more terrorism," Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said on the sidelines of a conference in Rome.

"We call for an immediate end to this offensive which is absolutely not acceptable given that the use of force continues to endanger the life of the Syrian people, who have already experienced tragedy in recent years," he said. 

09:43 GMT 10.10.2019

"As you know, [Turkish] President [Recep Tayyip] Erdogan has called [Russian President Vladimir] Putin by the phone, and prior to that, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has called me. We have a deconfliction channel, a channel of regular communication. Our military maintain contact with each other. We are interested in the promptest appeasing of the situation, most importantly, on the basis of respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic," Lavrov told reporters.

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