Syrians displaced by motorcycle fleeing Turkey

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AFP

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More than 100,000 civilians have already fled Kurdish-controlled areas on the Turkish-Syrian border

Kurds attacked by Turks in northern Syria said they would no longer give priority to protecting the detainees of the Islamic State if the offensive continued.

The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) currently holds thousands of prisoners believed to be held by the Islamic State.

Areas in northeastern Syria controlled by the SDS have been heavily bombed by Turkey since the start of its offensive on Wednesday.

More than 50 civilians reportedly died on both sides of the border.

Turkey accuses the Kurds of being terrorists and claims to want to drive them out of a "security zone" stretching some 30km in Syria.

It also plans to resettle more than three million Syrian refugees in the area currently in Turkey.

According to the UN, more than 100,000 people have already been displaced from Kurdish-controlled areas. The Kurdish administration of northeastern Syria estimates that this figure is much higher, at more than 191,000.

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Legend of the mediaMartin Patience of the BBC explains what lies behind the conflict

The decision of President Donald Trump to withdraw US troops from the region has indeed triggered the Turkish incursion against the homeless – the main Western allies in the fight against ISIS.

What did the Kurds say?

Fighting on the Syrian border with Turkey has prevented Israeli security forces from securing the ISIS detention camps in areas under its control, a senior Redur Xelil official said on Saturday.

"Keeping the prisons of the Islamic State is no longer a priority – anyone who cares about detaining prisoners safely is welcome to come to a solution."

Instead, he said, the SDF forces "will act to protect our cities and our people".

He warned that the Turkish operation paved the way for a regrouping of the EI.

"He reactivated and activated his cells in Qamishli and Hassakeh," he said.

What is IS in Syria?

The comments come after two deadly car bombs in both cities a day earlier, claimed by the IS.

Five ISIS members also escaped from a Qamishli prison after Turkey's bombing on Friday, the SDF said.

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Reuters

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The EI said that he was behind a car bomb attack on Friday in Qamishli, a predominantly Kurdish city.

Elsewhere, ISIS announced on Saturday a new campaign in Syria aimed at avenging the detention of its members in Kurdish-run prisons.

The SDF claims that it currently holds more than 12,000 alleged ISI members in seven prisons, of which at least 4,000 are foreign nationals. The exact locations have not been revealed, but some would be close to the Turkish border.

Two camps, Roj and Ain Issa, gathering families of alleged ISI members are in the "safe zone".

On Friday, Kurdish-led authorities reported that discussions were underway on how to move Ain Issa's camp, which had been shelled.

Turkey has said it will take responsibility for the state prisoners it discovered during its offensive.

How is the offensive developing?

Saturday's clashes intensified around Ras al-Ain, amid conflicting accounts of the party that controlled the key border town.

Turkey said its Syrian military and Allied rebels captured the city center, but the Kurdish-led FDS forces denied its downfall.

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Legend of the mediaTurkey-backed rebels claimed part of Ras al-Ain on Saturday

Ras al-Ain and the city of Tal Abyad are two of the main goals of the Turkish offensive.

Elsewhere, Turkey's allies claim to have seized roads of strategic importance 30 km from the border and captured more than a dozen villages.

The homeless face numerous Turkish land and air assaults along a stretch of the border between Turkey and Syria of about 120 km long.

In his statement on Saturday, Redur Xelil, SDF official, asked the US to help protect Kurdish fighters by closing the airspace to Turkish planes, describing it as a moral obligation.

What are the loss figures?

They get up, with civilians killed on both sides of the border:

  • At least 38 civilians and more than 80 Kurdish fighters have been killed, according to the Syrian Observatory of Human Rights based in the United Kingdom (SOHR)
  • Seventeen civilians killed in southern Turkey, including a Syrian baby, according to Turkish reports
  • Nearly 50 pro-Turkish rebel fighters, known as the Syrian National Army, and a Turkish soldier killed

A Kurdish politician and women's rights activist was among the nine civilians killed Saturday on a road in northern Syria, according to SOHR.

Hervin Khalaf, secretary general of the party Future Syria, was ambushed south of Tal Abyad, in northern Syria, during an attack that the homeless charged to fighters in the national army. Syrian.

The fighters backed by Turkey have denied his assassination, saying that they have not advanced to here, according to the Reuters news agency.

What is the reaction to the operation?

Pressure is mounting on Turkey for it to cease operations, but President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says it will continue.

On Saturday, France announced that it would suspend all arms exports to Turkey. Germany has previously announced that it will reduce its arms sales to NATO ally.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson also warned President Erdogan, during a phone call, that his operation could "undermine the progress made against" ISIS in Syria.

The Kurds made it clear that they felt betrayed by the withdrawal of US forces by Mr. Trump. He now says that he wants the United States to negotiate a truce between Turkey and the Kurds.

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Reuters

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Berlin was among several European cities Saturday to witness protests against the operation in Turkey

President Trump has suggested that he would be willing to use sanctions against Turkey if necessary.

In addition, on Saturday, thousands of people demonstrated in several European cities, including Paris and Berlin, to protest against the Turkish assault.