At least two people have been killed and scores of others have sustained injuries after Turkish army soldiers fired tear gas and live ammunition to break up dozens of Kurdish demonstrators protesting the construction of a wall by Ankara on Syrian soil near the town of Kobani.
Kurdish-language Rudaw television network reported on Friday that two men, including a 17-year-old teen, were shot dead and over 40 others were wounded as the Turkish soldiers opened fire on the demonstrators protesting what they described as the Turkish "occupation".
The wall reportedly encroaches 20 meters onto the Syrian side of the border. However, the Turkish forces deny that any of their military vehicles have entered Kobani, saying they are rather protecting construction vehicles as they dig the foundation of the border wall adjacent to the Syrian city.
Back in January 2015, the Kurdish forces liberated Kobani from the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group, which had earlier laid a siege to the town. As Daesh moved to Kobani, hundreds of Kurdish civilians took refuge in neighboring Turkey, where they were kept along the border.
Fighters from the People’s Protection Units (YPG), which is part of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) coalition fighting Daesh, are currently controlling the city.
In late August, Turkey deployed hundreds of troops and dozens of tanks across the border into the northern Syrian town of Jarablus, which is less than 40 kilometers (24.8 miles) from Kobani, in the province of Aleppo.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the operation in northern Syria was launched "against terror groups" such as Daesh and the Kurdish forces that "constantly threaten" Turkey.
Ankara says the high concrete wall is being built in an alleged bid to thwart Daesh terrorists and Kurdish militia from illegal crossings.
Ankara has so far built more than 10 kilometers (six miles) of the wall, which features equipment such as thermal cameras.
Since March 2011, Syria has been gripped by militancy it blames on some Western states and their regional allies. United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura estimates that over 400,000 people have been killed in the Syrian conflict.
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