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Turkish army, rebel allies killed 68 civilians since Oct. ceasefire deal: SDF

Syrian Democratic Forces fighters stand on a roof next to their flag in the village of Baghouz, Deir ez-Zor province, Syria, March 24, 2019. (DELIL SOULEIMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
2019-12-04

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SULAIMANI — The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have accused the Turkish army and its Syrian rebel allies of killing 68 civilians since a ceasefire deal between Turkey and the United States was reached in October.

Released on Tuesday (December 3), the report found that Turkish forces carried out 143 attacks on SDF units and Syrian army positions in northeastern Syria since October 17. Forty two of the attacks involved armed drones.

The SDF added that areas covered by the ceasefire and civilian settlements were shelled by tanks and howitzers 147 times.

As many as 88 villages and hamlets outside of the agreement zone were also captured, according to the report.

“The mercenary groups have been settled in these areas,” the report said, referring to Turkish-backed rebel groups.

According to the SDF, 68 civilians were killed and 214 others were wounded in the attacks. As many as 64,000 mostly Christian civilians have fled. Six Assyrian and Syriac villages were evacuated.

On Monday, Turkish army artillery shelled several residential areas in Tal Rifat in northern Aleppo province, killing ten civilians in total and wounding twelve others. Eight children were among the dead.

Tal Rifat is still under the control of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), but is also home to thousands of non-combatants.

Turkey began a cross-border offensive against the Kurds in Syria on October 9 after Trump announced the withdrawal of US troops from the area. At one point around 300,000 people fled their homes and 100,000 remain displaced, according to the UN.

(NRT Digital Media)