Locals pelt Turkish-Russian patrol with stones near Kobani, northern Syria - Reuters
Angry crowds near the mainly Kurdish Syrian border town of Kobani pelted Russian and Turkish armoured vehicles with stones as they conducted a joint patrol in the area, Reuters reported on Wednesday, citing local news outlets.
Turkey launched a military operation on Oct. 9 against Kurdish-led forces that had gained control of large northern Syrian territories during the eight-year conflict, seizing a 120-km strip of land across its frontier and striking an agreement with Russia to clear the remaining border areas.
The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) targeted in the operation are dominated by Kurdish groups which Ankara views as terrorists due to their links to insurgents who have fought Turkish security forces for self-rule in the mainly Kurdish southeast of Turkey since 1984.
But the SDF played a key role in the U.S.-backed fight against Islamic State (ISIS), in which Kobani was a turning point that holds great symbolic value. Kurdish fighters withstood an ISIS siege of the town between 2014 and 2015, and later fought back to capture nearly all of the jihadist group’s territories in Syria.
The Russian-Turkish patrol, which began 7 km east of Kobani, was pelted by a crowd near the town, footage shared by the local North Press news agency showed.
“Several dozen people managed to stop two Russian armoured vehicles and some of them climbed onto one of the cars with Russian military police insignia,” Reuters reported, citing a video from the SDF-aligned outlet Anha.