Turkish forces in patrol shoot at protesters in Syria's Kobani - witness, Observatory
BEIRUT (Reuters) - Turkish forces conducting a joint patrol in northern Syria under a Russian-Turkish deal fired live rounds on Tuesday at protesters near the mainly Kurdish town of Kobani, a witness and a monitor said. The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said two people were killed and seven others injured near the town along the Syrian-Turkish border.
BEIRUT (Reuters) - Turkish forces conducting a joint patrol in northern Syria under a Russian-Turkish deal fired live rounds on Tuesday at protesters near the mainly Kurdish town of Kobani, a witness and a monitor said.
The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said two people were killed and seven others injured near the town along the Syrian-Turkish border.
Turkey's military launched a cross-border offensive into northeast Syria last month to target the Kurdish YPG militia in the region, seizing control of 120 km (75 miles) of land along the frontier.
Under a subsequent deal, Russia and Turkey agreed to push the YPG at least 30 km (19 miles) south of the frontier and to hold joint patrols. Ankara views the YPG as terrorists linked to a Kurdish insurgency on Turkish soil.
The Turkish Defence Ministry said a fifth joint land patrol with Russia took place in the border region on Tuesday "with due care and diligence for the safety of both civilians and our military personnel despite provocation by terrorists."
TASS news agency cited Russia's Defence Ministry as saying Turkish forces and Russian military police conducted the patrol north of Kobani without mentioning a shooting incident.
The witness said forces fired live rounds into the air to disperse residents who were pelting stones at the patrol in an attempt to block it. The forces then fired bullets and tear gas at the protesters, wounding three, he said.
Syrian Kurdish residents have protested during the patrols against the deal under which Turkish troops are entering the border region. The reported shooting on Tuesday appeared to be the first such incident since the patrols started last month.
The Turkish-Russian deal enabled Syrian government forces to move back into border regions held by Kurdish fighters and where the Syrian army had been absent for years.
Mustafa Bali, spokesman for the Syrian Democratic Forces, which the YPG spearheads, said in a tweet: "Turkish army is firing live bullets on Kurdish protesters and killing them in broad daylight."
(Reporting by Rodi Said in Syria and Nadine Awadalla in Beirut; Writing by Nadine Awadalla; Editing by Mark Heinrich)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.