Updates of Turkey - Syria war


Not less than 100,000 people have fled their homes in northeast Syria, the United Nations said, as Turkey pressed on with its offensive against Kurdish fighters despite growing international criticism of the campaign and concerns it could result in ISIL's resurgence.

Aid officials on Friday warned of "yet another humanitarian crisis" in war-torn Syria amid mass displacement and "disturbing reports" of attacks on civilian infrastructure, including water facilities, power stations and oil fields.

Rupert Colville, spokesman for the UN human rights office, told reporters in Geneva at least seven civilians, including a woman and a boy, had been killed since Turkey's cross-border operation began on Wednesday.

Another 400,000 people in the city of Hassakah were at risk of not having access to clean water, he said, reportedly due to a Turkish raid on a water pumping station in the Syrian border town of Ras al-Ain.

Turkey says Syria push 'won't stop' despite displacement concerns
Ankara pledges to continue operation in northeast Syria despite warnings over humanitarian crisis as 100,000 flee homes.

Turkey-backed Syrian rebel fighters hold the Syrian opposition flag as they walk in the border town of Akcakale in Sanliurfa province [Khalil Ashawi/ Reuters]
Turkey-backed Syrian rebel fighters hold the Syrian opposition flag as they walk in the border town of Akcakale in Sanliurfa province [Khalil Ashawi/ Reuters]
An estimated 100,000 people have fled their homes in northeast Syria, the United Nations said, as Turkey pressed on with its offensive against Kurdish fighters despite growing international criticism of the campaign and concerns it could result in ISIL's resurgence.

Aid officials on Friday warned of "yet another humanitarian crisis" in war-torn Syria amid mass displacement and "disturbing reports" of attacks on civilian infrastructure, including water facilities, power stations and oil fields.

Rupert Colville, spokesman for the UN human rights office, told reporters in Geneva at least seven civilians, including a woman and a boy, had been killed since Turkey's cross-border operation began on Wednesday.

Another 400,000 people in the city of Hassakah were at risk of not having access to clean water, he said, reportedly due to a Turkish raid on a water pumping station in the Syrian border town of Ras al-Ain.

"What is happening and what has been happening in the last 48 hours is extremely worrying, and I believe that we have there all the ingredients for unfortunately yet another humanitarian crisis in Syria," said Christian Cardon de Lichtbuer, of the International Committee of the Red Cross, who spoke alongside Colville.

In a subsequent statement, the UN said markets, schools and clinics remain closed while only one hospital was operational in the area.

This came after Doctors Without Borders (MSF) announced the shutdown a hospital that served more than 200,000 people in the Syrian border town of Tal Abyad, scene of some of the heaviest fighting on Friday.

But Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan pledged to continue with the assault, whose stated goal is to create a buffer zone freed of the Kurdish fighters within which some of the 3.6 million refugees currently living in Turkey can also be resettled.

"We will never stop this step. We will not stop no matter what anyone says," he said in a speech on Friday.

Turkey insists it is targeting "terrorist positions" and shows the "utmost caution" to avoid targeting civilians and infrastructure during its operation.

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