Turkish forces kill seven Syrian civilians as push into Kurdish-held territory continues

Turkish forces kill seven Syrian civilians as push into Kurdish-held territory continues
A Syrian war monitor has said that seven civilians were killed in two separate attacks on Friday by Turkish forces in their assault on Kurdish-held areas of Syria.
2 min read
11 October, 2019
Turkey and its Syrian partners have launched an assault on Kurdish-held areas of Syria [Getty]
Seven Syrian civilians have been killed by Turkish forces in northern Syria, according to a war monitor.

Four of the civilians were killed by an air strike in Tal Abyad, while the three others were killed by snipers around the border town, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Turkey's operation, dubbed Operation Peace Spring, has so far focused on the towns of Tal Abyad and Ras Al-Ain. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that 109 "militants" have been killed so far.

Turkey's new assault has forced over 70,000 people to flee, according to the Observatory. 

Turkey has suffered casualties of its own, reporting the death of its first soldier earlier today from Kurdish sniper fire. In addition, five people - including one baby - were killed in suspected Kurdish shelling in the Turkish towns of Akcakale and Ceylanpinar. 

Read more: EXPLAINER: Where the world stands on Turkey's 'Operation Peace Spring' Syria offensive

Turkey's offensive has sparked international outrage, raising fears of a new humanitarian crisis in the region and concerns that thousands of militants from the Islamic State group could use the offensive as an opportunity to escape.

The operation in northern Syria began on Thursday with the aim of creating a 150km long and 25km deep "safe zone" on the other side of the Turkish border, currently occupied by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces.

This would provide Turkey with a buffer zone and allow for the repatriation of the country's 3 million Syrian refugees, Ankara claims.

Turkish bombing has hit towns in northern Syria, while a ground offensive by Ankara's proxy forces have so far seen 12 Syrian border villages captured.

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