ANKARA, November 3. /TASS/. Turkey dismissed allegations on Sunday of its strikes in Syria, which might have affected the US-led coalition forces battling the Islamic State terrorist group (banned in Russia).
"Our troops are continuing to demine areas as part of Operation Peace Spring. Media reports are not true that troops of the countries - members of the coalition, which might be deployed in the region, came under shelling," the Turkish National Defense Ministry said in statement.
Meanwhile, the Kurdish news agency Firat reported earlier on Sunday that Turkish artillery conducted strikes against the border settlements of Rashidiyah and al-Kasimiyah. According to the agency, a Thai doctor, who worked with the mission of Doctors Without Borders international humanitarian organization, was killed in the strike.
On October 9, Turkey launched a military incursion into northern Syria, codenaming it Operation Peace Spring, with the Turkish Armed Forces and the Ankara-backed Free Syrian Army carrying it out. Erdogan’s military campaign kicked off with airstrikes on the positions of the previously US-backed Kurdish units. The Erdogan government claimed that its goal is to clear the border area of what it calls ‘terrorists’ (Turkey’s broad label of the Kurdish forces) and establish a 30 km-long buffer zone in Syria’s north, where over Syrian refugees in Turkey would resettle. Turkey’s incursion into Syria triggered an outcry in the region and across the world. Damascus slammed the operation as an act of aggression, and the international community condemned Erdogan’s military operation.
On October 17, the United States and Turkey struck a deal to pause fighting. Turkey agreed to a 120-hour ceasefire so that Kurdish forces incorporated in the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) coalition could withdraw from the cross-border ‘safety area’ that Ankara seeks to set up.
On October 22, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan signed a memorandum at a summit in Sochi on joint efforts in northeastern Syria. Kurdish military units were given 150 hours to withdraw from the 30-kilometer-deep area along the Turkish border. On November 1, the Russian and Turkish troops began joint patrols along the northern border of Syria.