The city on the Euphrates River is about 85 kilometers south of the capital Baghdad and once was a main tourist attraction before Iraq suffered one war after another in the past four decades.
Arab residents complain about a lack of basic services and discrimination by local administrations run by the YPG, the Syrian offshoot of the PKK terror group.
Starting five days ago, demonstrations against the YPG-dominated US-backed SDF had increased in a string of towns, from Busayrah to Shuhail, in a strategic oil belt in the heart of Arab tribal territory, east of the Euphrates River.
Over 60 civilians died of starvation and malnutrition fleeing the clashes. Both Daesh and YPG have been accused of abducting or holding civilians hostages in Syria.
Ankara has promised a cross-border operation and a safe zone east of the Euphrates in Syria and says the operation would not only secure Turkey's national interests but allow displaced and refugee families to return home.
Ankara expects to develop a common understanding with Washington on a Turkey-friendly safe zone in northern Syria. Are the two allies close to reaching a final deal?
Turkey's presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin says Ankara will continue efforts to provide stability in neighbouring Syria.
The US-backed YPG blocked a 10-truck convoy carrying basic necessities for civilians of Syrian city of Hajin on the eastern bank of the Euphrates River, according to the Russian Defense Ministry.
Ankara to maintain its stance on preserving current status in Syria's Idlib, says Turkey’s National Security Council.
Turkey’s foreign minister as well as the spokesperson for the governing AK Party have criticised Western political support of the YPG in Syria and the silence over the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, blaming ‘money’.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey would take necessary steps in Syria, if promises given by the US are not kept and almost all preparations have been completed for an operation in Syria.
Turkey envisions a safe zone without the PKK-linked YPG, the US wants to include what Ankara recognises as a terrorist organisation, while Russia and other regional powers think differently.
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