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Syrian Kurds face continued Turkish aggression despite ceasefire agreement, new report finds

TURKEY continues to breach an international ceasefire in northern Syria, launching frequent air strikes against civilians and infrastructure, according to a new report.

The Rojava Information Centre has published a 52-page dossier documenting the current situation in the largely Kurdish area that was invaded by Turkish forces in Operation Peace Spring in October 2019.

Many of the atrocities are well documented, including the judicial execution of Kurdish politician Hevrin Khalef by jihadist forces working with the Turkish armed forces.

Turkey was accused of using chemical weapons, notably white phosphorus during its bombing of civilians in the town of Sere Kaniye, where ground troops met with fierce resistance.

More than 300,000 people have been internally displaced and 258 civilians killed, 69 of those between November 2019 and April 2020 despite a ceasefire agreement.

Washington’s reputation in northern Syria has been damaged after the US was perceived to have abandoned Kurds by withdrawing troops, giving the green light to the Turkish invasion. It leaves the Kurdish semi-autonomous region facing the prospect of striking a deal with Damascus, while acknowledging the importance of relations with the US as leverage in discussions.

One resident of Qamishlo said: “If we are to be exterminated, we would not just make agreements with the regime, but with the devil.”

Head of the Syrian Democratic Forces Mazloum Abadi conceded that the US policy has been a disaster and detrimental to the whole region.

“It played against Kurds, Arabs and Christians,” he said. “But the Syrian crisis is an international crisis and the solution can only be international, with the involvement of those international powers.”

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