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Shells fall in northeast Syria despite ceasefire agreement

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on October 18, 2019 - Duration: 01:56s

Shells fall in northeast Syria despite ceasefire agreement

Shelling could be heard at the Syrian-Turkish border on Friday morning despite a five-day ceasefire agreed between Turkey and the United States, and Washington said the deal covered only a small part of the territory Ankara aims to seize.

Lauren Anthony reports.

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Shells fall in northeast Syria despite ceasefire agreement

Shelling - accompanied by gunfire and smoke - seen at the Syrian-Turkish border on Friday (October 18).

That despite a five-day ceasefire being agreed between Ankara and Washington a day earlier.

A pause in Turkey's operation to allow Kurdish fighters to withdraw from northeastern Syria.

Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan on Friday though claimed there were no ongoing clashes in the area.

Adding that the offensive there would continue more rapidly than before if the truce deal with the U.S. is not fully implemented.

Washington said the deal covered only a small part of the territory Ankara aims to seize.

(SOUNDBITE) (Turkish) TURKISH PRESIDENT TAYYIP ERDOGAN SAYING: (SOUNDBITE STARTS OVER AUDIENCE LISTENING) "The issue of the 'safe zone' will be solved if the U.S can realize their promises until (next) Tuesday night when these 120-hours are over.

But if these promises are not realized, as soon as the 120-hours are over, our Operation of Peace Spring will continue more rapidly than before." U.S. President Donald Trump says he's spoken with Erdogan - and that Erdogan told him there was minor sniper and mortar fire that was quickly eliminated.

Turkey says this "safe zone" would make room to settle up to two million Syrian refugees it is currently hosting.

And would push back the YPG militia which it deems a terrorist group because of its links to Kurdish insurgents in southeast Turkey.

Syrian Kurds were forced to flee the violence on Thursday.

Many told Reuters the agreed ceasefire gave them hope.

This man says it meant he was able to sleep last night.

But some expressed concern about returning to Syria before security has been established.

The Turkish assault has triggered a new humanitarian crisis in Syria - which has forced 166,000 civilians to flee their homes - according to the U.N.

Refugee agency.

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