Indiscriminate shellfire by Turkish troops – and to a lesser extent Kurdish forces – has killed scores of civilians in Syria, a human rights group alleges. Amnesty International said it had verified witness testimony from the north-western Kurdish enclave of Afrin that “painted a grim picture”. Turkey has denied targeting civilians since launching an offensive against a Kurdish militia in Afrin last month.

Meanwhile, farmers in the Kurdistan Region say they have decided to refrain from selling their wheat crops to the Iraqi government because they have lost confidence in Baghdad due to Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s broken promises. According to the farmers, the Iraqi government has not delivered payments for crops sent to Baghdad for the past three years. Some farmers claimed they would no longer send their wheat through Baghdad, vowing to sell them on their own.

Lastly, two lions rescued from war-torn Syria and Iraq have been given a new lease of life at a South African animal sanctuary. Saeed, two, was emaciated and dehydrated when he was one of 12 animals rescued from Magic World amusement park, near Aleppo, by animal welfare group Four Paws in July. Simba was one of only two animals found at a zoo in Mosul, Iraq, a year ago after the rest died of starvation, were killed or escaped.