Early on October 12, the Turkish military and the so-called Syrian National Army (NSA) managed to reach the strategic M4 highway after capturing eighteen villages in the northern countryside of al-Hasakah and Raqqa.
“The forces were able to liberate eighteen villages which are: Nus Tell, Rajm Anuah, Umm Jurn al-Sauauin, Jamous, Lazkah, al-Aridah, Hwiran, al-Wasta, Shukan, al-Trauziyah, al-Zayidi, al-Nabhan, al-Khalidiah, al-Khuir al-Kabirah, al-Khuir al-Saghirah, al-Filo, al-Ghujir and Ghuzil,” the NSA said in a short press release.
Local sources confirmed that the M4 highway, which links al-Hasakah, Raqqa and Aleppo, is now blocked by Turkish forces.
Footage from the Aleppo – Hasaka highway by the National Syrian Army: pic.twitter.com/U4u1SDBmfr
— Juhayman (@JuhaymanH) October 12, 2019
M4 yolunun Tsk/ SMO nun elinde olduğundan haberi olmayan teröristler kontrol noktasında yakalandı. pic.twitter.com/P5etLMLsMf
— Son Kale Türkiye 🇹🇷 (@SonKaleTurkiye2) October 12, 2019
According to the Turkish Ministry of National Defence, a total of 415 fighters of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and other Kurdish group have been killed, injured or captured since the beginning of Operation Peace Spring in northeast Syria.
Turkish forces are now taking advantage of the collapse in the SDF’s defenses and advancing around the key border town of Ras al-Ayn in northern al-Hasakah. The town will likely fall within a few hours.
The first phase of Operation Peace Spring is aimed at establishing a 120 km long, 30km deep “safe zone” in northeast Syria.