Merkel urges Erdogan to halt Syria offensive immediately

German Chancellor Angela Merkel told Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a phone call on Sunday to bring to an immediate halt the military operation in northern Syria, a German government spokeswoman said.

"The Chancellor advocated an immediate end to the military operation," the spokeswoman said in a statement, Reuters reported. The phone call took place at Erdogan's request, she said.

Meanwhile, Kurdish officials and a war monitor said that hundreds of family members linked to Islamic State militants escaped from a camp in northern Syria on Sunday while fighting between Kurdish militias and Turkish-backed rebels intensified. About 785 foreigners affiliated to Islamic State have escaped from the Ain Issa camp, near the northern city of al-Raqqa, a Kurdish autonomous administration in north-eastern Syria said.

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