Kurdish-led Syrian Forces Urge US to Press Turkey for a Ceasefire
Damascus: Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) on Saturday called on the US to pressure Turkey to comply with the five-day ceasefire and open a humanitarian corridor for the evacuation of civilian victims from the besieged border city of Ras al-Ain in northern Syria.
SDF commander, Mazlum Abdi, said in a statement that his side pledged to abide by the 120-hour truce reached on Thursday between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and US Vice President Mike Pence, Efe news reported. “The Turkish side continued its attack in violation of the ceasefire,” Abdi said. “It also does not allow the opening of a safe corridor to evacuate the wounded and civilians, trapped in the city of Ras al-Ain/Sari Kanyeh, despite the fact that 30 hours have passed since the announcement of the ceasefire.”
One of the reasons Turkey launched the Syrian offensive was because Turkish authorities wanted to secure what it calls a safe-zone, which would extend some 32 km into northern Syria, stretching from the Euphrates River to the Iraqi border. As well as using the area to re-home some of the roughly 4 million Syrian refugees in Turkey, the Ankara government wants to avoid the creation of a Kurdish state-let along its border. On Friday, Pompeo said that he was confident the ceasefire would be implemented. (IANS)