On October 16, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), backed by the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), recaptured three villages south of the key town of Ras al-Ayn in northern al-Hasakah.
Sources close to the Kurdish-led group said that the towns of al-Ahras, al-Rihaniyah and Manajir as well as the nearby grain silos were recaptured from the Turkish-backed National Syrian Army (NSA).
The Syrian Arab News Army (SANA) confirmed that the SAA deployed troops inside the newly-recaptured villages.
The SAA’s presence in the area limited the activity of the Turkish Air Force (TAF), drew a red-line in front of Turkish-backed militants and secured the routes leading to Ras al-Ayn, which is still witnessing heavy clashes.
Earlier today, the SDF ambushed and killed 49 militants of the NSA inside the town. Opposition activists said that the slain militants were looting houses inside the town.
The SDF launched a similar counter-attack south of the border town of Tell Abyad in southern Raqqa, taking advantage of the SAA deployment in Ain Issa. So far, Kurdish forces have recaptured several positions, including the town of of Jadla.
Second Battle of Ras al-Ayn
On 12 October, more Substantive Turkish forces attacked the town, moving into it, with some indications that Turkish forces had moved into the centre of the town. At the same time, the SDF did a tactical retreat, pulling back before the Turkish forces in response to a Turkish artillery bombardment of their areas. Clashes continued in the Industrial district. The Kurdish Politician Hervin Khalaf and a number of civlians were executed outside the town, caught on a road, by the TFSA. Turkish troops continued to move into the town, gaining control of the Ras al-Ayn’s residential center, with some Turkish media sources claiming that the town had been completely captured. However, SDF troops showed video of themsleves still in the town, continuing to engage the Turkish forces Turkish troops continued to gain control of more areas around the town, including adjacent villages, and the M4 motorway, while fighting continued inside areas of the town itself, with the SDF continued to resist On 13 October, SDF forces launched a counter Offensive, pushing back Turkish military and recapturing key points of the town, including the Industrial district.By 15 October, the SDF had fully recaptured the town, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and other sources. The Kurdish forces also retook some of the nearby M4 motorway. SDF had prepared extensive tunnels under Ras al Ayn, and used them to launch attacks on TFSA militia in the town.
Header: Kurdish female fighters of the SDF gather in Ras al-Ayn. Turkey’s ministry of defence said 399 YPG fighters had been ‘neutralised’ since the operation began on Wednesday. StringerEPA