Kurdish - updates

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U.S. military calls on Kurdish forces in northeast Syria

Nov 02, 2019 - 11:17 PM

'They're coming to set up a major military post in Qamishli,' a source tells Agence France-Presse

RETURN IN SYRIA? A convoy of US troops is pictured in the Kurdish-majority city of Qamishli, in Syria's northeastern Hasakeh province on November 2, 2019. AFP photo

Syria's Assad says he does not want Turkey as an 'enemy'

Nov 01, 2019 - 2:16 PM

However the Syrian president says that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan himself was an 'enemy' due to policies hostile to Syria

NOT ENEMY. A handout picture released by the official Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) on October 31, 2019 shows President Bashar al-Assad speaking during a special broadcast interview in Syria's capital Damascus. Photo by SANA/AFP

More than 100 Islamic State prisoners have escaped in Syria – US envoy

Oct 24, 2019 - 7:27 AM

'We would say the number is now over 100. We do not know where they are,' James Jeffrey, the State Department point man on Syria

James Jeffrey, State Department special representative for Syria engagement and special envoy to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, testifies before the State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Subcommittee on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on October 23, 2019. NICHOLAS KAMM / AFP

U.S. forces withdraw from key base in northern Syria

Oct 20, 2019 - 6:48 PM

It is the fourth withdrawal of American forces in a week, and leaves Syria's northern provinces of Aleppo and Raqa devoid of US troops

WITHDRAWAL. US military vehicles drive on a street in the town of Tal Tamr on October 20, 2019, after pulling out of their base. Photo by Delil Souleiman/AFP

Turkish soldier killed in Syrian Kurd attack, says defense ministry

Oct 20, 2019 - 3:15 PM

Turkey and Kurdish forces accuse one another for violating the ceasefire agreement

TURKISH TROOPS. In this file photo, Turkish military vehicles, part of a US military convoy, take part in joint patrol in the Syrian village of al-Hashisha on the outskirts of Tal Abyad town along the border with Turkey, on October 4, 2019. Photo by Delil Souleiman/AFP

Erdogan vows to 'crush the heads' of Kurdish forces if no pullout

Oct 19, 2019 - 10:11 PM

(UPDATED) 'If the promises given to our country are not kept, as we did in the past we will not wait and restart the operation as soon as the time we have given ends,' says Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

'CRUSH HEADS'. Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatens he will not back down if Kurdish forces fail to pull out from the proposed safe zone. AFP file photo

Turkey, U.S. agree on Syria ceasefire to force Kurdish fighters' withdrawal

Oct 18, 2019 - 7:48 AM

The agreement for the 120-hour pause eases what escalated into an unprecedented crisis between the United States and Turkey, but critics quickly accused President Donald Trump of again abandoning Kurdish allies

AGREED. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (center-left) and US Vice President Mike Pence (center-right) meet at the presidential complex in Ankara, Turkey, on October 17, 2019. Photo by Shaun Tandon/Pool/AFP

Erdogan says Turkey 'can never declare ceasefire' in north Syria

Oct 16, 2019 - 7:53 AM

US President Donald Trump says, Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will travel to Ankara to press Turkey to halt its offensive against Syrian Kurdish fighters

Syrian government forces arrive in the town of Tal Tamr, not far from the flashpoint Kurdish Syrian town of Ras al-Ain on the border with Turkey, which has been a key target of Turkish forces and their proxies since they launched their military assault, on October 15, 2019. Syrian regime troops arrived after Damascus deployed troops to the country's north to contain a days-long Turkish offensive.  Delil SOULEIMAN / AFP

U.S. slaps sanctions on Turkey as Syrian regime returns to north

Oct 15, 2019 - 8:16 AM

The actions come hours after regime troops returned for the first time in years to parts of northeastern Syria, invited by Kurdish fighters desperate for protection as the United States pulls out

Turkey-backed Syrian fighters gather around a Turkish army US-made M60 tank in the northern outskirts of the Syrian city of Manbij near the Turkish border on October 14, 2019, as Turkey and its allies continue their assault on Kurdish-held border towns in northeastern Syria. Turkey wants to create a roughly 30-kilometre (20-mile) buffer zone along its border to keep Kurdish forces at bay and also to send back some of the 3.6 million Syrian refugees it hosts. Zein Al RIFAI / AFP

U.S. takes custody of two 'high-value' jihadists from Syria Kurds

Oct 10, 2019 - 9:07 AM

(UPDATED) 'I can confirm that we've taken custody of two high-value ISIS individuals from the SDF,' says a US defense official, referring to the Islamic State group and the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces

COMBO) This combination of pictures created on February 11, 2018 from two handout images provided by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) on February 10, 2018 shows captured British Islamic State (IS) group fighters El Shafee el-Sheikh (L) and Alexanda Kotey (R), posing for mugshots in an undisclosed location. Two "high-value" jihadists held by Syrian Kurds have been taken into US custody and moved out of the country, a defense official said on October 9, 2019, as reports identified them as notorious British fighters dubbed "The Beatles." Handout / Syrian Democratic Forces / AFP AFPForum

Turkey to begin Syria offensive 'shortly' despite mixed U.S. signals

Oct 09, 2019 - 12:37 PM

Istanbul sends more armored vehicles to the border with Syria, with a large convoy of dozens of vehicles seen in the Turkish town of Akcakale

A Turkish army's tank drives down from a truck as Turkish armed forces drive towards the border with Syria near Akcakale in Sanliurfa province on October 8, 2019. Turkey said on October 8, 2019, it was ready for an offensive into northern Syria, while President Donald Trump insisted the United States had not abandoned its Kurdish allies who would be targeted in the assault. Trump has blown hot and cold since a surprise announcement two days before that Washington was pulling back 50 to 100 "special operators" from Syria's northern frontier. BULENT KILIC / AF

U.S., Turkey launch joint patrols in northeast Syria

Sep 08, 2019 - 4:59 PM

A joint center of operations has been established as part of the agreement for a 'safe zone' between the Turkish border and the Syrian areas controlled by the YPG

JOINT PATROL. This picture taken on September 8, 2019 shows an US army helicopter flying over Turkish (R) and US (L) armored vehicles which take part in their first joint patrol under a deal reached between Washington and Ankara, at the border with Syria near Akcakale, in the Sanliurfa province of Turkey. Photo by Bulent Kilic/AFP

Turkey says Syria Kurds withdrawal 'must be confirmed'

Aug 30, 2019 - 11:43 PM

As part of the US-Turkey deal to create a 'safe zone' in northern Syria, a joint operations center was set up and there will be joint patrols. Turkey hopes the patrols would start 'as soon as possible.'

CONFIRMATION? This file photo shows Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar looking on before posing for a family picture during the NATO Defense Ministers meeting in Brussels on June 27, 2019. File photo by Aris Oikonomou/AFP

Syria Kurds say fighters start pullback from Turkish border

Aug 27, 2019 - 8:38 PM

The so-called 'safe zone' agreed by Washington and Ankara aims to create a buffer between the Turkish border and Syrian areas controlled by the Kurdish People's Protection Units

MEETING. Mazloum Kobani (L), commander-in-chief of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), and Brigadier-General Nicholas Pond (2nd-L), a representative of the US-led coalition fighting the Islamic State (IS) group, attend a meeting with other SDF commanders in the northwestern Syrian city of Hasakah, in the province of the same name, on August 24, 2019. Syria's Kurds have said that they would support the implementation of a US-Turkey deal to set up a buffer zone in their areas along the Turkish border. File photo by Delil Souleiman/AFP

Damascus rejects Turkey-U.S. plan, Kurds give guarded welcome

Aug 08, 2019 - 9:59 PM

No details are provided on the size or nature of the safe zone, but the deal appears to provide some breathing room after Turkey threatened an imminent attack on the Kurdish People's Protection Units

KURDS. This file photo shows Syrian Kurdish members of the People's Protection Units (YPG) attending the funeral of a slain Kurdish commander in the northeastern city of Qamishli on December 6, 2018. File photo by Delil Souleiman/AFP

Turkey, U.S. agree 'joint operation center' for north Syria

Aug 08, 2019 - 8:59 AM

The agreement contains no details on the size and nature of the safe zone, but aims to provide some breathing room after Turkey had threatened an imminent attack on the Kurdish YPG group

SAFE HAVEN. A Syrian refugee girl weeps as families board busses returning to neighboring Syria on August 6, 2019, in the Esenyurt district of Istanbul, Turkey. Photo by Ozan Kose/AFP

Anger, grief sweep Iraq's Mosul as ferry disaster toll hits 100

Mar 22, 2019 - 8:53 PM

Residents of the northern city, scarred by years of jihadist rule, demand justice as Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi decrees 3 days of national mourning following the accident

RESCUE. Emergency personnel arrive on March 21, 2019, at the site of a popular picnic area in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul on the shores of the Tigris river, after a ferry sank leaving more than 70 people dead in Iraq's worst accident in years. Photo by Waleed Al-Khaled/AFP

Almost 100 dead as Iraq ferry sinks on spring holiday trip

Mar 22, 2019 - 12:10 AM

(UPDATED) The accident sparks an outpouring of grief among residents who only recently resumed festivities on the banks of the Tigris after the northern city's recapture from the Islamic State group

U.S.-backed Syria force pummels last ISIS bastion

Mar 14, 2019 - 7:14 PM

The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces have since March 10 rained fire on the enclave in a bend of the Euphrates River, blitzing thousands of ISIS members into surrender

FRONTLINES. Fighters with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are pictured in the town of Baghouz, on the frontline of fighting to expel the Islamic State group from the area, in the eastern Syrian province of Deir Ezzor, on March 12, 2019. Photo by Delil Souleiman/AFP

'Never-ending' numbers in last ISIS scrap shock U.S.-backed fighters

Mar 09, 2019 - 12:39 PM

Tens of thousands of dust-covered women, children and men have streamed out of the ragged tent encampment in the Syrian village of Baghouz since December – and despite that exodus they still keep on coming

Children who were captured by Islamic State (IS) group fighters, believed to be from the Yazidi community, are pictured after being evacuated from the IS' embattled holdout of Baghouz at a screening area held by the US-backed Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the eastern Syrian province of Deir Ezzor, on March 6, 2019. More than 7000 people, mostly women and children, have fled the shrinking pocket over the past two days, as US-backed forces press ahead with an offensive to crush holdout jihadists. The Yazidis are a mostly Iraq-based Kurdish-speaking religious minority. The jihadists consider them heretics and in 2014, tried to exterminate them. Bulent KILIC / AFP

Turkey, Iran to stage joint raid against Kurd rebels – minister

Mar 06, 2019 - 5:55 PM

Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu does not specify which PKK bases the planned operation will target but President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has previously said it will be against militant hideouts in Iraq

JOINT RAID. A handout photo taken and released on February 9, 2019 by the Turkish presidential press service shows Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) listening to Interior Minsiter Suleyman Soylu (C) visiting the area of a collapsed apartment building in Istanbul, on February 9, 2019. AFP PHOTO / TURKISH PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SERVICE

Turkey to set up Syria 'security zone' after Trump call

Jan 16, 2019 - 10:52 AM

In a telephone conversation with US President Donald Trump, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reaffirms that 'a 20-mile security zone along the Syrian border... will be set up by us'

TURKEY. Turkish soldiers stand near a Turkish flag in Istanbul on May 1, 2017. File photo by Gurcan Ozturk/AFP

Erdogan, Trump consider creating security zone in Syria

Jan 15, 2019 - 10:00 AM

In a telephone conversation, the leaders 'discussed the idea of creating a security zone cleared of terrorism in the north of the country,' the Turkish presidency says in a statement

ON SYRIA. This combination of file pictures created on August 11, 2018 shows Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) deliverling a speech during an AK party's group meeting at the AK Party's headquarters in Ankara, on January 26, 2018; and US President Donald Trump (R) during a joint press conference with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, July 30, 2018. File photos by Adem Altan and Saul Loeb/AFP

Syria army cuts off main town in Ghouta rebel enclave

Mar 10, 2018 - 11:49 PM

Meanwhile, Ankara-backed rebels advance against the Kurdish People's Protection Units in the enclave of Afrin in northwestern Syria

Turkish air strikes kill 36 pro-regime fighters in Syria's Afrin

Mar 03, 2018 - 10:11 PM

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the strikes on Kafr Janna were the third such raid on loyalist fighters in the enclave in less than 48 hours

11 Turkish troops killed in deadliest day of Kurdish offensive in Syria

Feb 11, 2018 - 9:54 AM

The fatalities follow Turkey sending troops and launching air strikes against Kurdish militia in Northern Syria

Pressing Syria offensive, Turkey urges U.S. pullback

Jan 27, 2018 - 9:40 PM

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has threatened to expand the offensive against the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) to Manbij, east of Afrin

Turkish jets pound Kurdish militia in new Syria offensive

Jan 21, 2018 - 8:16 AM

The launch comes despite warnings that the operation could be militarily tough against an already battle-hardened foe and complicate relations with both Washington and Moscow

WITH TURKEY'S BLESSING. Turkish-backed fighters from the Free Syrian Army stand in the Tal Malid area, north of Aleppo, as they fire towards Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) positions in the village of Um al-Hosh, in the area of Afrin, on January 20, 2018. Nazeer al-Khatib/AFP

Russia voices concern over Turkey operation in Syria

Jan 21, 2018 - 12:45 AM

Russia said its troops were withdrawing from the area "to prevent potential provocation and exclude the threat to the life and wellbeing of Russian military"

OPERATION. In this file photo, smoke rises on November 13, 2014 after shelling in the Syrian city of Kobane, as seen from the Turkish border village of Mursitpinar, Sanliurfa province. Photo by Aris Messinis/AFP

Erdogan: Turkey has 'de-facto' launched ground operation on Syria's Afrin

Jan 20, 2018 - 8:49 PM

Turkey has sent dozens of military vehicles and hundreds of troops to the border area amid repeated threats from top officials that an operation could be launched soon

RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said ground operations to oust Kurdish militia in Syria has begun. Photo by Adem Altan/ AFP

Turkey expects Trump to 'keep promise' not to arm Syria Kurds

Nov 25, 2017 - 11:16 PM

Washington views the Kurdish YPG militia as the most effective fighting force on the ground against ISIS, but Ankara sees them as 'terrorists' linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party

VERSUS ISIS. Members of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), made up of an alliance of Arab and Kurdish fighters, patrol next to boats at the Lake Assad on April 29, 2017, as they advance in their battle for the Islamic State's (IS) stronghold in nearby Raqa. File photo by Delil Souleiman/AFP

Fighters in Syria's Raqa prepare for civilian handover

Oct 20, 2017 - 11:37 AM

Raqa's capture leaves the jihadists with little remaining territory in Syria, most of it in neighboring Deir Ezzor province, where some SDF fighters are already headed to carry on the campaign

US expresses concern over Erdogan guards' attack on protesters

May 18, 2017 - 9:53 AM

Turkish bodyguards of visiting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan push past a Washington police cordon outside the Turkish ambassador s residence and set about the protesters with their fists and feet

State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert says the US is concerned over the incident. Screengrab from state.gov

Trump, Erdogan vow friendship despite anger at US arming Kurds

May 17, 2017 - 9:57 AM

Both leaders try to put a brave face on their differences and to renew a key alliance between NATO s leading power and its biggest Muslim member partners in the fight against the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq

FRIENDSHIP. US President Donald Trump (right) and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan deliver their joint statements after a bilateral meeting at the White House on May 16, 2017. Screengrab from White House video

Turkey angered by U.S. move to arm Syrian Kurds

May 10, 2017 - 6:04 PM

The issue risks further stoking tensions between Ankara and Washington less than a week before President Recep Tayyip Erdogan heads to Washington to meet his US counterpart Donald Trump

Members of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), made up of an alliance of Arab and Kurdish fighters, patrol next to boats at the Lake Assad, an enormous reservoir created by the Tabqa dam, on April 29, 2017, as they advance in their battle for the Islamic State's (IS) stronghold in nearby Raqa. Delil Souleiman/AFP

Car bombing kills 13 Turkish soldiers

Dec 17, 2016 - 3:15 PM

3rd UPDATE A total of 48 soldiers were wounded in the attack which struck when the soldiers were being taken from their barracks by bus on a weekend shopping trip

UN condemns 'descent into hell' in Aleppo, civilians flee

Nov 29, 2016 - 8:05 PM

UPDATED Diplomats said the UN Security Council will hold an emergency meeting November 30 in New York on the humanitarian crisis in Aleppo

ESCAPE. Syrian families, from various eastern districts of Aleppo, are evacuated by bus through Sheikh Maqsud, a Kurdish-controlled enclave between the government-held west of Aleppo and the east, on November 27, 2016, as Syrian pro-government continue their advance towards rebel-controlled districts. Photo by George Ourfalian/AFP

In major blow, Syria rebels lose all northeast Aleppo

Nov 28, 2016 - 3:55 PM

UPDATED The regime s advance prompts an exodus of desperate civilians some fleeing to districts held by the government or Kurdish forces others heading south into areas still under opposition control

Smoke billows during fighting as Syrian pro-government forces walk on a street on November 27, 2016 in the Masaken Hanano district in eastern Aleppo, a day after they resized it from rebel fighters. George Ourfalian/AFP

Thousands flee Syria regime advance into east Aleppo

Nov 28, 2016 - 1:30 AM

It is the first exodus of its kind from east Aleppo since 2012 according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights

Syrian displaced families arrive at a makeshit camp on November 27, 2016 in the government-held district of Jibreen in Aleppo, as civilians have fled the eastern part of the city in the past 24 hours as regime forces advance against rebel-held districts. / AFP PHOTO / GEORGE OURFALIAN

Battle for ISIS-held Mosul nears ancient site

Nov 11, 2016 - 12:45 AM

Troops and allied militia are moving forward on two villages close to ancient Nimrud

Iraqi forces flash the V-sign from their vehicle as they hold a position near the village of Arbid on the southern outskirts of Mosul on November 9, 2016, during the ongoing military operation to retake Mosul from the Islamic State (IS) group. / AFP PHOTO / AHMAD AL-RUBAYE

Coalition strike 'kills 20 civilians' near ISIS-held Raqa

Nov 10, 2016 - 1:35 PM

The Syrian Democratic Forces the militia alliance that Washington is supporting in the assault denies the civilian deaths

Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a US-backed Kurdish-Arab alliance, are seen near the Syrian town of Ain Issa, some 50 kilometres (30 miles) north of Raqa, the Islamic State group (IS)'s de facto Syrian capital, after the SDF alliance launched an offencive to retake the IS stronghold, on November 7, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / DELIL SOULEIMAN

US-backed forces launch assault on Syrian ISIS 'capital'

Nov 07, 2016 - 12:55 AM

The operation to liberate Raqa dubbed Wrath of the Euphrates involves some 30 000 fighters

Jihan Sheikh Ahmed (C), a spokeswoman for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), holds a press conference in the town of Ain Issa, some 50 kilometres north of Raqa, on November 6, 2016, to announce that the US-backed alliance has began a long-awaited operation to capture the Islamic State group's de facto Syrian capital Raqa. "The major battle to liberate Raqa and its surroundings has begun," Jihan Sheikh Ahmed said at the press conference in Ain Issa. The operation, dubbed "The Wrath of the Euphrates," comes as Iraqi forces backed by the US-led coalition press an assault to take the jihadist group's Iraqi stronghold of Mosul. / AFP PHOTO / DELIL SOULEIMAN

Iraqi forces move within striking distance of Mosul

Oct 31, 2016 - 3:37 PM

UPDATED Forces from the elite Counter Terrorism Service CTS faced mortar fire as they pushed from the Christian town of Bartalla towards Mosul s eastern suburbs

Shiite fighters from the Hashed al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilisation) advance towards the village of Salmani, south of Mosul, on October 30, 2016 during the ongoing battle against Islamic State group jihadists to liberate the city of Mosul. Ahmad al-Rubaye/AFP

Iraq forces say gaining ground around Mosul

Oct 30, 2016 - 7:35 PM

3rd UPDATE Amid the offensive the UN says there have been credible reports of ISIS carrying out mass executions in the Iraqi city

Iraqi families who were displaced by the ongoing operation by Iraqi forces against jihadists of the Islamic State group to retake the city of Mosul, are seen near Qayyarah, south of Mosul, on October 29, 2016. Iraqi paramilitary forces launched an operation to cut the Islamic State group's supply lines between its Mosul bastion and neighbouring Syria, opening a new front in the nearly two-week-old offensive. / AFP PHOTO / BULENT KILIC

More Turkish tanks enter Syria in new front – state media

Sep 03, 2016 - 10:38 PM

This is Ankara s most ambitious operation during the five and a half year Syria conflict

NEW FRONT. Turkish military tanks are seen during clashes between Turkish soldiers and Islamic State group fighters, 20 km west of the Turkish-Syrian border town of Karkamis, in the southern region of Gaziantep, on September 3, 2016. Bulent Kilic/AFP

Erdogan rejects claims US-backed Kurds have retreated

Sep 02, 2016 - 9:30 AM

The Turkey Kurdish fight is yet another complication in the tangled civil war that is ravaging Syria as both Turkey and the US seek to retake territory from Islamic State jihadists by supporting different proxy groups

TURKISH PRESIDENT. Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks during a press conference at the end of the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, Turkey on May 24, 2016. File photo by Sedat Suna/EPA

Dozens killed as Turkey ramps up Syria offensive

Aug 28, 2016 - 10:15 PM

UPDATED At least 40 civilians are reported dead but Ankara says its raids had killed 25 Kurdish terrorists

epa05511590 A Turkish soldier on his tank as they prepare for a military operation at the Syrian border as part of their offensive against the Islamic State (IS) militant group in Syria, Karkamis district of Gaziantep, Turkey, 27 August 2016. The Turkish army launched an offensive operation against IS in Syria's Jarablus with its war jets and army troops in coordination with the US led coalition war planes. EPA/SEDAT SUNA

Syria regime, Kurds agree to truce in Hasakeh

Aug 23, 2016 - 9:22 PM

UPDATED A statement distributed to journalists by a Kurdish official says the agreement includes a ceasefire and the withdrawal of all armed forces from the city

At least 4 killed in suicide attack in Istanbul shopping hub

Mar 19, 2016 - 5:51 PM

5th UPDATE No group has yet to claim responsibility for the attack that also injured 36 people

BLAST. Crime scene police investigators inspect the site after an explosion in Istiklal Street in Istanbul, Turkey, 19 March 2016. EPA/STR

Kurds must be able to give views on Syria's future – UN envoy

Mar 13, 2016 - 12:40 AM

Staffan de Mistura says that he has a mandate to find to find formulas that are as inclusive as possible

NEXT SYRIA ENVOY. In this file photo, Staffan de Mistura, then a Special Representative of the United Nation Secretary General for Afghanistan, talks with journalists during a press conference in Kabul, Afghanistan, 23 November 2011. S. Sabawoon/EPA