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Syrian regime troops move towards Turkey border to counter Ankara's offensive against Kurds Open in fullscreen

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Syrian regime troops move towards Turkey border to counter Ankara's offensive against Kurds

26 civilians, including one journalist have been killed in the fighting so far. [Getty]

Date of publication: 14 October, 2019

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The massively outgunned Kurds described their deal with the Syrian government as a necessary step to stop the assault. 100,000 civilians could be displaced due to conflict, UN warns.
Syrian regime troops moved towards the Turkish border on Monday after Bashar al-Assad’s regime reached a deal with Kurdish forces struggling to contain Turkey’s offensive in northern Syria, AFP reported.

Soldiers were deployed west of Tal Tamr, a town not far from the border town of Ras al-Ain, one of the key targets of Turkey and its proxy militias in the military operation they launched six days ago.

Tall Tamr is around 30km from the border, but some units have moved as close as 6km, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Also read: Nearly 800 IS wives, children escape camp as Turkey battles Kurds in Syria offensive

The Syrian regime forces are expected to be deployed around Manbij and the border town of Kobane further east to check the Turkish offensive, a newspaper close to Damascus reported.

Kurdish forces announced a groundbreaking deal with the Syrian regime on Sunday as the US announced that it was withdrawing "nearly all" its troops from the region.

US Defence Secretary Mark Esper said the move to withdraw 1,000 US troops came after Washington learned that Turkey was pressing further into Syria than had been expected.

Turkey's relentless assault, which has seen air strikes, shelling and a ground incursion manned mainly by Syrian proxy fighters, has killed scores of civilians and fighters since its launch on Wednesday.

The Kurds say the US has betrayed them, their once formidable ally in the fight against the Islamic State group, and left to fend for themselves in the battle against Turkish forces.

The massively outgunned Kurds described their deal with the Syrian government as a necessary step to stop the assault.

"In order to prevent and confront this aggression, an agreement has been reached with the Syrian government... so that the Syrian army can deploy along the Syrian-Turkish border to assist the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)," the Kurdish administration said in a statement.

It came after Syria's state news agency SANA said Damascus was sending troops to the north to "confront the Turkish aggression".

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the aim of Operation Peace Spring was to establish a "security zone" that would extend 30 to 35 kilometres (20 to 25 miles) into Syria and run between the Kobane to Hasakeh, a stretch of 440 kilometres.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor said at least 26 civilians were killed on Sunday, and the UN reported that nearly 400,000 people could be forced to flee their homes.

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