On September 28, clashes broke out between two units of the Mu’tasim Division in the Turkish-occupied town of Ras al-Ain in northeastern Syria.
A disagreement over checkpoints located on profitable smuggling routes and the distribution of houses forcibly taken from locals was reportedly the main cause of the clashes, which took place in the central and eastern parts of Ras al-Ain.
In the course of the clashes, Turkish-backed militants used heavy weapons including large-caliber machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars.
According to the Syrian Arab News Agency, the clashes claimed the lives of six militants. At least five others were wounded.
The clashes, which eventually came to an end as a result of an agreement between the militants, took place two days into a strike by the Free Police department in Ras al-Ain. The police, which is a law reinforcement body backed by Turkey, began an open strike to protest against the repeated harassment by the Mu’tasim Division and other factions of the Turkish-backed Syrian National Army.
The situation in Ras al-Ain is not different than any other area occupied by the Turkish military and its proxies in northern and northeastern Syria.
Turkey’s proxies continue to engage in criminal activities as well as human rights violations on a large-scale. Ankara has done nothing about this, so far.
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