Despite a ceasefire that took effect last weekend, violence broke out in Syria this week, killing 135 people. Along Syria’s border with Turkey, Kurdish militia forces said the Turkish army had fired on them.
A member of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units, also known as the YPG, was fired on by Turkey, which views the YPG as a terrorist organization, seeing them as a part of the insurgent Kurdish militant group in Turkey, Reuters reported. The YPG has also, however, partnered with a U.S-led coalition to combat the Islamic State group, also known as ISIS, in Syria.
YPG official Redur Xelil said there “was firing by Turkish troops at members of the People’s Protection Units near the city of Qamishli, which caused serious injury in one person,” Reuters reported. “There was then an exchange of fire between the two sides. The situation is now tense,” Xelil said.
In parts of Syria covered by a truce that went into effect last Saturday, 135 people were killed, while in areas not covered by the ceasefire — and which are held by ISIS and al-Nusra, the Syrian arm of al Qaeda — 552 people were killed, the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. With Syrian and rebel forces blaming each other for breaking the ceasefire, the threat of its collapse is hanging over U.N. peace talks planned to begin next week, Reuters reported.
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The ceasefire, however, has largely been upheld since it started, and a reduction in violence has enabled deliver of aid to various parts of the country. The World Health Organization, however, said Wednesday a shipment of medical supplies was stopped by Syrian officials.
Syria has been torn by civil war since 2011, something Russia and the U.S. tried to stop by sponsoring of the ceasefire. Both sides, including the rebels and forces led by Syrian President Bashar Assad, agreed to the ceasefire, which still allows attacks against ISIS and other terrorists.