Sunday, 13 October 2019 16:51

Heavy fighting continues as Turkey presses ahead with its military operation against Kurdish fighters in northeast, Syria,now in its fifth day.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the offensive aims to remove the Kurdish-led forces from the border area and create a "safe zone" to which millions of Syrian refugees can be returned.

The move came after the United States announced it was withdrawing its troops from the area, leaving the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), its main ally in the battle against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS) armed group, without US military support.

Meanwhile German Chancellor Angela Merkel has told Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a phone call on Sunday to bring to an immediate halt the military operation in northern Syria, a German government spokeswoman said.

"The Chancellor advocated an immediate end to the military operation," the spokeswoman said in a statement.

The Kurdish-led administration in northern Syria issued a statement saying 950 ISIL supporters escaped from a camp in Ain Issa after attacking guards and storming the gates, according to The Associated Press news agency.

Source: News Agencies.