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Civilian casualties mount as Turkish offensive pounds Syrian border

Local organizations and private citizens are scrambling to care for the wounded and provide for the displaced as Turkish strikes reduce homes to rubble.
Syrians return to their homes in the town of Ayn al-Arus, south of the border town of Tal Abyad, on October 14, 2019, after it was taken over by Turkish-backed Syrian fighters during their assault on Kurdish-held border towns in northeastern Syria. - Syrian regime forces moved towards the Turkish border after Damascus reached a deal with beleaguered Kurdish forces following a US withdrawal announcement, AFP correspondents reported. (Photo by Bakr ALKASEM / AFP) (Photo by BAKR ALKASEM/AFP via Getty Images)
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QAMISHLI — The Turkish armed forces and the Syrian National Army forces affiliated with the Syrian opposition have launched a ground offensive in northern Syria east of the Euphrates River and artillery attacks on the towns of Qamishli, Terbespi, Amuda and Derek that have endangered civilians in city centers, villages and border neighborhoods.

Sarah Hussein, 7, and her brother Mohammad, 12, were playing outside their home in the Qadourbek neighborhood in Qamishli when a mortar shell landed near them. “I thought it was a butterfly. I begged my brother to leave it to me; I adore beautiful butterflies. He agreed, in exchange for the ice cream my father had bought me before he went to work,” Sara recounted. “I thought it was a butterfly and I smiled at it, but I soon realized how fast it was flying down,” she told Al-Monitor.

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