Syrian Kurds seek civilians' evacuations


DM Monitoring

DAMASCUS: Kurdish authorities in northeastern Syria on Thursday issued a statement calling for a humanitarian corridor to evacuate civilians from a flashpoint border town encircled by Ankara’s forces.
The statement was released as Turkey’s offensive entered its ninth day.
The appeal for a civilian exit from Ras Al-Ain comes after Turkey’s Syrian proxies hit a health facility in the town, trapping patients and staff inside, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Meanwhile, US Vice President Mike Pence arrived in Turkey on Thursday in a bid to secure a cease-fire to halt the Turkish offensive in Syria. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived earlier on a separate plane.
They are due to meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The visit comes a day after Erdogan firmly ruled out any negotiations with Kurdish militants in Syria, saying their only option was to lay down arms and retreat.
The United States has demanded a cease-fire in Turkey’s more than week-old operation in northern Syria.
President Donald Trump, faced with mounting criticism over the abrupt pullout of US troops, has denied he gave Erdogan a “green light” to launch the offensive.