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APRIL 2021

Combat Footage: All-Out Battle Breaks Out Between SDF, Turkish Forces Around Ain Issa

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Combat Footage: All-Out Battle Breaks Out Between SDF, Turkish Forces Around Ain Issa

Screen grab from a video by the Hawar News Agency.

On March 19, an all-out battle between the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and Turkish forces broke out around the town of Ain Issa in northern Raqqa.

The battle began with a series of ground attacks by Turkish-backed militants on the outskirts of the town of Ain Issa and the nearby villages of Saida, Mu’alk and al-Mushayrifah. SDF fighters showed fierce resistance. In return, Turkish forces intensified their artillery and mortar strikes on the region.

At least three Turkish-backed militants were killed during the clashes around Ain Issa. A pickup was also destroyed by the SDF. Moreover, the SDF shelled a large base of the Turkish Armed Forces near Saida to the west of Ain Issa.

In the last few days, Turkish forces stepped up their attacks on Ain Issa. Heavy clashes broke out around the town on several occasions. At least two limited ground attacks on Saida and Mu’alk were repelled by the SDF.

A full-scale Turkish attack on Ain Issa appears to be nearing. Last year, Russia asked the SDF to hand over the town to Syrian government forces in order to avoid this scenario. However, the US-backed group refused.

Any attempt by Turkish forces to storm Ain Issa will be a blatant violation of the ceasefire in northeastern Syria which was accepted by Ankara in two separate agreements with Russia and the US.

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