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Turkey warns Kurdish forces to withdraw before ceasefire ends

Turkey has demanded that Kurdish forces withdraw from a border strip in northern Syria where it intends to resettle refugees.

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Smoke billows from fires in Ras al-Ayn, Syria (AP/Lefteris Pitarakis)

Smoke billows from fires in Ras al-Ayn, Syria (AP/Lefteris Pitarakis)

Smoke billows from fires in Ras al-Ayn, Syria (AP/Lefteris Pitarakis)

Turkey’s foreign minister has renewed warnings that his country will resume its military offensive in Syria if Kurdish fighters do not vacate the region before the end of a US-brokered cease-fire.

Speaking in Istanbul on Monday, Mevlut Cavusoglu said: “If they don’t withdraw, our operation will re-start.”

He accused Syrian Kurdish groups of 30 live fire violations of the four-day-old truce, which killed one Turkish soldier.

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The Turkish flag-draped coffin of a soldier killed in action in Syria (AP/Lefteris Pitarakis)

The Turkish flag-draped coffin of a soldier killed in action in Syria (AP/Lefteris Pitarakis)

AP/PA Images

The Turkish flag-draped coffin of a soldier killed in action in Syria (AP/Lefteris Pitarakis)

He said Turkey retaliated against these attacks.

He added however, that Kurdish fighters were complying with the US-backed deal and withdrawing from areas that Turkey controls following its wide-ranging incursion, launched on October 9.

Turkey has demanded that Kurdish forces withdraw from a border strip in northern Syria 19 miles deep, where it intends to resettle refugees.

PA Media