Fierce battle rages over Syrian border town

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Fierce fighting is taking place around the Syrian border town of Ras al-Ain as Turkish forces continue their military operation in north-eastern Syria.

Turkey says it has taken the town but the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces SDF dispute this.

Turkey has also denied targeting US forces after the Pentagon said troops further west came under fire.

At least 30 civilians are reported killed and more than 200,000 displaced in four days of fighting.

President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw US troops from the area effectively triggered the Turkish incursion against the SDS, the main Western allies in the fight against so-called Islamic State.

Turkey accuses the Kurds of being terrorists and says it wants to drive them away from a “safe zone” inside Syria where it plans to resettle more than three million Syrian refugees currently in Turkey.

One major concern for the international community is the fate of thousands of suspected Islamic State group IS prisoners, including many foreign nationals, being guarded by Kurdish-led forces in the region.

 

Nneka Ukachukwu