Syria Kurds call for civilian exit as Turkey encircles border town

18 October, 2019 12:00 AM printer

Kurdish authorities in northeastern Syria on Thursday called for a humanitarian corridor to evacuate civilians from a flashpoint border town encircled by Ankara’s forces, as Turkey’s offensive entered its ninth day, reports AFP.

Turkish troops and their Syrian proxies have fully encircled Ras al-Ain, a key border town where Kurdish fighters have been putting up stiff resistance.

“It is the first real advance of the Turkish forces inside the city, following fierce resistance by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF),” the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said.

Massively outgunned by the Turkish army and its airforce, the Kurdish administration pleaded to allow civilians to exit the town that Turkey aims to capture.

It called for “urgent intervention to open a safe humanitarian corridor to evacuate dead and wounded civilians trapped in Ras al-Ain”.

Ankara’s Syrian proxies—mostly Arab and Turkmen former rebels they use as a ground force—hit a hospital in the town on Thursday, trapping patients and staff inside, the Observatory said.

The monitor said the extent of damage in the facility was not yet clear.