Turkish troops and Kurdish fighters exchange heavy shelling in Kobane in Syria

Turkish troops and US-backed Kurdish fighters exchanged heavy shellfire in the northern Syrian border town of Kobane on Tuesday, killing one civilian as the conflict between the warring parties escalated. was intensifying.

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Artillery fire hit the interior of the city and its outskirts, starting at night and intensifying throughout the day, according to residents and the semi-autonomous local administration that governs the city.

The administration said in an online statement that at least one child died from the shelling and others were injured.

Ankara sees the semi-autonomous system – led by Kurdish factions and governing swaths of northern and eastern Syria – as a threat to national security on its border.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has promised a new incursion to create a 30-kilometre safe zone in northern Syria, engulfing Kobane and other towns held by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces.

Kobane has been relatively calm since US-backed Kurdish fighters pushed IS fighters out of town in 2015.

But shelling and drone attacks have intensified in many border towns. At least three Kurdish commanders were killed last month, which the SDF blamed on Ankara.

Dilvin, a trader and married mother of one, said scenes of chaos erupted in Kobane when shelling intensified on Tuesday.

“People started running everywhere, cars everywhere, people asking about friends and family. Then the sounds started coming up, the sounds were everywhere,” she told Reuters by phone from Kobane.

“There were so many screams. So much fear. Now everyone is locked up at home,” said Dilvin, who preferred to identify himself with a simple first name for security reasons.

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