Five wounded as Turkish troops fire at Kurdish protesters in Syria

Turkish forces are said to have fired live ammunition at protesters during a joint patrol with Russian troops on the Syrian border.
Syrian Kurdish protesters demonstrate against Turkish threats in Qamishli, the de-facto capital of Syria's embattled Kurdish minority, on Nov 12, 2019.
Syrian Kurdish protesters demonstrate against Turkish threats in Qamishli, the de-facto capital of Syria's embattled Kurdish minority, on Nov 12, 2019. PHOTO: AFP

BEIRUT (DPA) - At least five Kurdish civilians were wounded on Tuesday (Nov 12) when members of a Turkish patrol opened fire at them while they were protesting in northern Syria, Kurdish sources said.

They were protesting a joint Turkish-Russian patrol in the town of Kobane. Kurdish sources told dpa that one of those wounded was in critical condition.

The protesters were throwing stones and old shoes at the Turkish troops, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

"Turkish army is firing live bullets on Kurdish protesters and killing them in broad day light, before the eyes of the whole world," Mustafa Bali, spokesman of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), wrote on Twitter.

The Turkish Ministry of Defence said that the joint Turkish-Russian patrol in the area "is continuing with due care and diligence for the safety of both civilians and our military personnel despite provocation by terrorists."

On Oct 22, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin struck a deal to share control of north-eastern Syrian border areas, giving Syrian Kurdish militias 150 hours to vacate.

Under the 10-point agreement, Turkey will retain control of the area it seized during the offensive it launched on Oct 9, which was green-lighted by President Donald Trump when he ordered US troops to pull back.

The SDF, which has controlled swathes of north-eastern Syria, is mainly led by the People's Protection Units (YPG). Ankara considers the YPG to be linked to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), designated a terrorist group.