Following a series of heavy airstrikes and intense shelling by the Turkish military, National Syrian Army (NSA) militants were finally able to advance in the border town of Ras al-Ayn.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) confirmed that Turkish-backed forces managed to capture half of the town, located in northern al-Hasakah, in the morning of October 17.
After advancing in Ras al-Ayn, NSA militants captured several key positions in the town’s outskirt, effectively besieging Kurdish forces. Despite this, heavy clashes are still taking place inside the town.
“Heavy clashes with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) continue inside the town,” the SHOR’s report read.
A day earlier, at least 49 militants of the NSA were ambushed and killed by SDF fighters inside Ras al-Ayn. The militants were reportedly looting abandoned houses.
The NSA launched its attack on Ras al-Ayn last week in the framework of the Turkish-led Operation Peace Spring. The first phase of the operation is aimed at establishing a “safe-zone” between Ras al-Ayn and the town of Tell Abyad, 120 km to the west.