Boris Johnson urges Turkey to end offensive against Syrian Kurds

Boris Johnson urges Turkey to end offensive against Syrian Kurds

Seventy-four Kurdish-led fighters, 49 Turkey-backed Syrian rebels and 30 civilians have been killed in the fighting, according to Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a war monitor.

"The explosion occurred within a few hundred meters of a an area known by the Turks to have U.S. forces present", the statement said.

"We always get displaced no matter where we go", Yusra Al Saleh, 38, who fled violence along Syria's northern border, said.

The area where the explosion occurred is an area known by the Turks to have USA forces present there, according to the Pentagon.

It said one of its medical points south of Ras Al Ain was hit by Turkish fire on Saturday, wounding an ambulance driver and damaging the vehicle.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Thursday said that Turkey would retaliate if the United States imposed sanctions over its offensive into northeast Syria, according to media reports.

He added that the firing stopped as soon as the US brought up the issue with Turkish authorities.

However journalists in the region cite other officials who say it is impossible it was a mistake.

The ministry affirmed that "Turkish border outposts south of Suruc came under Dochka and mortar fire from the hills located approximately 1,000 meters southwest of a US observation post".

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Trump had authorized the drafting of "very significant" new sanctions against Turkey and would activate them if necessary.

"Before the shooting, all kinds of precautions were taken to prevent damage to the U.S base", a translated version of the statement read.

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"We don't want them to send their soldiers to the front lines and put their lives in danger", the statement said.

Later at the Pentagon, a US official told several news outlets that the source of the shelling in Kobane had not yet been confirmed.

But the Kurds say that the Turkish invasion, which has led to an exodus of civilian residents, Arab as well as Kurdish, amounts to an attempt to redraw the ethnic map fo the region at their expense.

Brett McGurk, a former special envoy for both the Obama and Trump administrations in the campaign against the Islamic State, raised concerns about the incident on Friday, saying on Twitter that the United States had declared the position to Turkey.

The Turkish offensive began after Trump ordered USA troops to pull back from the border and he stands accused of giving it a green light. "Please help us, please help us, it's enough", Bawan, one of the Kurdish protesters, told Reuters.

"Ras al-Ain is still resisting and clashes are ongoing", said an official of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces.

The SDF's announcement comes as five ISIS militants successfully fled from Jirkin prison in Qamishli.

Since Wednesday, Turkish troops and Syrian opposition fighters backed by Ankara have been advancing under the cover of airstrikes and artillery shelling.

With little leverage left in the game, Syria's Kurds - viewed by Ankara as "terrorists" - may have to thaw ties with President Bashar al-Assad's Russian-backed regime.

France's President Emmanuel Macron has discussed the Turkish offensive in Syria with Mr Trump, and warned about a possible resurgence of Islamic State activity as a result of the military action.

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