Wed 13 Nov 2019

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Operation ‘Peace Spring’: How Far Did Turkish Forces Progress In East Of Euphrates?

Turkish tank on the Syrian border ready for a land attack within operation ‘Peace Spring’ – October 9, 2019 (Turkish Media Outlets)

Turkish tank on the Syrian border ready for a land attack within operation ‘Peace Spring’ – October 9, 2019 (Turkish Media Outlets)

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It is the second day of the operation ‘Peace Spring’, a ground offensive launched by Turkey to control several posts held by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the surrounding of the two cities of Tell Abiad and Ras al-Ayn/Sari Kani, considered the offensive’s two major axes.

The operation kicked off in the late Wednesday evening hours, but Turkey had already set fire to the Syrian border strip, extending from the Tell Abiad city to that of al-Malikiyah/Dayrik, far into the norther-east, with airstrikes conducted by F-16 warplanes, in addition to the missiles and mortars it fired from the rocket launchers and heavy artillery stationed along its side of the border.

Today, at the dawn of October 10, the Turkish Ministry of Defense stated that unites of the Commandos/Special Forces continue to advance in the area east of the Euphrates river, being part of the operation ‘Peace Spring’.

Attached to the statement that the Ministry published were videos of the Turkish forces’ progress within the area.

 

The two axes involved

As shown by the control map, the progress of the Turkish forces focused on two axes: the first is in the vicinity of  Tell Abiad; the second is in the surrounding of the Ras al-Ayn city, as far as its eastern parts.

The Turkish forces, a media source from the city of Tell Abiad said, have made a three-kilometer-progress within the Syrian territories, on the eastern and western fronts of Tell Abiad.

The Turkish forces have also blocked the road between the Suluk town and Tell Abiad and are now attempting to arrive at the Ayn al-Arab/Kobanî-Tell Abiad and Tell Abiad-Raqqa roads, the source added.

The area that the Turkish forces are advancing to is open, the source added, noting that once the roads mentioned above are taken over, Turkey will cordon Tell Abiad, except for its southern front.

On the second axis, namely Ras al-Ayn, the Turkish forces have also achieved progress of a few kilometers within its surrounding, facilitating for the incursion with the airstrikes and the artillery shelling they embarked on in the past hours.

On the outskirts of Ras al-Ayen, the Turkish forces have progressed on the western front of the city, in the surrounding of Tel Arqam town, and have also cut the road connecting it with Tell Abiad, which lies within the range of its weaponry,  journalist Abdulaziz Khalifeh from Ras al-Ayen, told Enab Baladi.

Several posts on the northern border strip of Syria are witnessing clashes.

The Turkish forces, however, are focusing the attacks on the SDF posts, fortifications and tunnels at the border, in a proactive move before storming the area, Khalifeh added.

The Turkish forces have also started another front in the surrounding of Ras al-Ayen a little bit ago, on the city’s eastern side, near the Alouk town, the journalist pointed out, adding that the land attack in the city’s suburbs is thus being launched from two axes.

 

We combated the offensive, SDF says

On the other side of the border strip, the SDF has declared combating the Turkish land-attack aimed at the city of Ras al-Ayen, al-Hasakah countryside.

“The forces have repelled the ground offensive launched by the Turkish forces and their loyalist factions, costing them massive losses and forcing them to withdraw,” SDF said in a statement yesterday.

“Confrontations using heavy weapons continue, given the focused Turkish shelling on the city center that is dense in population.”

The SDF-affiliated Coordination and Military Operations Office announced rendering malfunction a Turkish armored vehicle while combating an attack of the Turkish forces in the village of Ain Diwar, to the west of al-Malikiyah, on the Syrian borders.

The SDF has reported deaths and injuries among civilians due to the Turkish shelling of the civilian houses in the city, which so far have not been confirmed by medical centers.

The Center has also added that one of the Turkish airstrikes has targeted a prison, where fighters of the Islamic State (IS) are held captive.

 

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