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Syrian Kurds take out 15 armed opposition militants in northeast Syria

The Syrian Democratic Forces report that clashes between Kurdish units with opposition forces happened on Monday evening in the area adjacent to the town of Ayn Issa

TASS, November 5. Militarized Kurdish units, backbone of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) coalition, have eliminated 15 supporters of the Syrian armed opposition backing Turkey in northeast Syria, the Firat News Agency reported on Tuesday citing an SDF statement.

According to the coalition, clashes between Kurdish units with opposition forces happened on Monday evening in the area adjacent to the town of Ayn Issa. The clashes saw "SDF units eliminating 15 Turkish "mercenaries" and destroying a vehicle of the Syrian armed opposition," the statement reads. The SDF reports that opposition lost 15 people with more than 10 militants injured.

On October 9, Ankara launched a new military operation in northern Syria dubbed Peace Spring, which began with airstrikes on positions of Kurdish units. The objective is to create a buffer zone in northern Syria where Syrians refugees could return, Ankara claims. The buffer zone will also establish a security belt for the Turkish border. The Syrian SANA news agency branded the operation as aggression, while the international community condemned Ankara’s actions.

On October 13, SANA reported that Damascus had struck a deal with Kurds and sent troops to north Syria to oppose the Turkish army. In the next few days, the Syrian army took control over a number of cities and towns in Kurdish regions without any fighting, including Al-Tabqah, Manbij, Raqqa and Kobane. On October 17, Syrian army units reached the Turkish border.

On October 22, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan signed a memorandum on joint actions in northeastern Syria. According to the document, as of noon October 23, Russian military police and Syrian border guards started to monitor the withdrawal of Kurdish military formations to the depth of 30 km from the border. On the outcomes of the agreement, Ankara stated that it had suspended its large-scale military operation in the area. However, Turkey retains control over the territories where it plans to relocate Syrian refugees in the future.

The deadline for the Kurdish forces to withdraw expired on October 29, 18:00 local time. Turkey and Russia began joint patrolling in northeastern Syria on Friday.