Sunday, October 27, 2019

Syrian Forces Exchange Fire with Turkish Troops Near Ra's al-Ayn
Sun Oct 27, 2019 02:37PM

The photo, taken on October 27, 2019, shows Syrian government forces in an area outside the key border town of Ra's al-Ayn in Syria’s northeastern province of Hasakah. (By SANA)

Clashes have been reported near Syria’s key northeastern border town of Ra's al-Ayn as Turkish soldiers and Syrian government forces engaged in an exchange of gunfire there.

Syria’s official news agency SANA reported the fighting on Sunday afternoon, saying that the clashes took place after the area came under attack from the Turkish side.

There were no immediate reports about possible casualties.

The development came only three days after Turkish forces and their allies attacked Syrian government troops in northeastern Syria.

SANA said the allies attacked Syrian army positions outside the town of Tal Tamr.

Meanwhile, Syrian army units on Sunday were deployed to new areas in northern Syria near the Turkish border.

The army units entered the villages of Um al-Harmala, Bab al-Khair, Um Ashba and Assadiya on the outskirts of Ra's al-Ayn in Syria’s northeastern province of Hasakah.

One Turkish soldier killed, 5 injured in YPG attack in Syria

Separately, one Turkish soldier was killed and five others were wounded in Ra's al-Ayn after a rocket and mortar attack by Kurdish militants from the People's Protection Units (YPG), Turkey’s Defense Ministry said.

The military was doing reconnaissance work and responded in kind to the attack, ‘neutralizing’ the terrorists, the ministry said in a statement.

On October 22, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, signed a memorandum of understanding, where they asserted that YPG militants must withdraw from the Turkish-controlled "safe zone" in northeastern Syria within 150 hours, after which period Ankara and Moscow will run joint patrols around the area.

The announcement was made hours before a US-brokered five-day truce between Turkish and Kurdish-led forces was due to expire.

On October 9, Turkish military forces and Ankara-backed militants launched a long-threatened cross-border invasion of northeastern Syria in a declared attempt to push YPG militants away from border areas.

Ankara views the US-backed YPG as a terrorist organization tied to the homegrown Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has been seeking an autonomous Kurdish region in Turkey since 1984. The YPG constitutes the backbone of the Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

No comments: