Turkey's Operation Peace Spring has uprooted 275,000 more Syrians, say Kurdish authorities

Turkey's Operation Peace Spring has uprooted 275,000 more Syrians, say Kurdish authorities
Kurdish authorities in northern Syria have said that 275,000 people have been displaced by fighting as Turkey’s 'Operation Peace Spring' enters its second week.
2 min read
16 October, 2019
Thousands of refugees have fled the fighting [Getty]

More than 275,000 people in northern and eastern Syria have fled the fighting after Turkey launched its cross-border "Operation Peace Spring" offensive against Syrian Kurdish forces last week.

The Autonomous Administration said that 70,000 children were among the refugees and that dozens of people had been killed and injured since the offensive was launched by Ankara-backed Syrian militias against the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) last Wednesday.

Read more: Erdogan says he can’t keep track of Trump tweets on Syria

The statement added that essential medical supplies and equipment were no available and that most medical centres were not operational.

Humanitarian aid agencies pulled out of northeastern Syria on Tuesday, fearing a Syrian regime advance into SDF areas after a deal between the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces and Bashar Al-Assad.

The Turkish operation in Syria is now one week old. Turkish-backed Syrian rebels have seized the town of Tal Abyad on the Syrian Turkish border from the SDF, while heavy fighting is ongoing around the city of Ras al-Ain. Turkish-backed forces have captured 40 villages around Ras al-Ain.

Speaking  Tuesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Turkey would "never declare a ceasefire in northern Syria".

Regime troops entered the SDF held city of Manbij in northern Syria on Tuesday, while Russian forces patrolled along the dividing line between the two opposing sides in the area.

The Turkish ground invasion is accompanied by air and artillery shelling, which Ankara says is targeted at Kurdish military installations and underground tunnels but which local authorities say has hit civilian homes.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, said last week that the Turkish attack on northern Syria would put "hundreds of thousands of people in harm’s way".