A US official said on Tuesday that the Turkish army and the Syrian Democratic Forces have agreed to a truce to stop fighting in north Syria.
The remarks come amid days of heavy clashes after Turkey and allied militant groups crossed into Syrian territory as part of their “Euphrates Shield” campaign allegedly aimed at the Kurdish YPG militia and ISIS.
The Turkish army and the SDF-led Jarablus Military Council in northern Syria have reached a “loose agreement” to stop fighting each other, according to a US defense official who told AFP.
“In the last several hours, we have received assurance that all parties involved are going to stop shooting at each other and focus on the ISIL threat,” said Colonel John Thomas, Central Command spokesman.
Thomas added, “It’s a loose agreement for at least the next couple of days and we are hoping that will solidify.”
The US official noted that both sides had opened communications with the United States and between eachother “with the goal of limiting hostilities.”
As a result of the artillery shelling of the Turkish army that aided so-called ‘rebel’ groups, dozens of civilians were killed in southern Jarablus villages. 5 civilians, 3 of which were children were notably killed during Turkish artillery attacks in the village of Dandania in northern Manbij last night.
The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 20 people died in Turkish strikes on Jeb el-Kussa in southern Jarablus and another 15 were killed in a separate bombardment near al-Amarneh.
The Observatory also reported that four local fighters were killed.
Turkey’s military had said in a statement that it had killed 25 members of the YPG militia. On Saturday, a Turkish soldier died in a tank hit by a rocket.
Turkey-backed militant groups had continued attacking SDF positions ever since they entered the territory of Jarablus on August 24.