Syria | New round of hostilities between Kurdish and Syrian fighters backed by Turkey – VIDEO & MAP
Defence Redefined
Published on 18/12/2020 at 15:30

Early in the morning of December 18, the Syrian National Army (SNA), organised and maintained by the Turkish state, launched a new attack in the city of Ain Issa in the northern province of Raqqa, Syria.

The SNA attack came weeks after speculation of a new round of hostilities. There have been many reports of a Turkish plan to oust the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) from Ain Issa and many other cities where the Kurdish coalition is active near the M4 motorway.

(Kurdish SDF fighters during today’s hostilities)

Also read: Turkey withdraws from largest military post in Syria’s Hama – Photo

SNA fighters have advanced on the abandoned “buffer zone” villages of Mushayrifah and Jableh. According to a Southfront report, Turkish artillery and drones provided Syrian SNA fighters with fire support during today’s hostilities.

(In green, the positions of the Turkish-backed SNA, in yellow, the territories controlled by the Kurdish coalition SDF. The areas controlled by the Syrian Arab State and the SDF are shown in red) 

As the ANHA (Hawar) news agency reported serious clashes near Ain Issa, Major Youssef Hammoud, a spokesman for the SNA, said the attack was a “limited military operation”.

  (Video showing SNA fighters before the start of hostilities) 

SNA sources said the attack came in response to an attempt by SDF fighters to infiltrate, while claiming that Turkish-backed fighters had withdrawn from the villages of Mushayrifah and Jableh.

The city of Ain Issa is home to the Russian Military Police. Several Syrian Arab Army (SAA) positions have been set up around the city. However, Russian and Syrian forces are not involved in the clashes.

(Video from ANHA news agency in Ain Issa)

Earlier this month, the SDF and Damascus reached a new agreement that allowed the SAA to create three new “observation posts” around Ain Issa. The deal came after pressure from Russia, which warned the SDF of a possible Turkish attack on the city.

SDF Syria Democratic Council co-chair Amina Omar claimed on December 18 that Russia was pushing the SDF to hand over full control of Ain Issa to Damascus.

The ongoing Turkish attack on Ain Issa seems to be limited and may end in the next hours or even days. However, tensions around the city will remain as long as the Kurdish coalition is unwilling to make concessions to Turkey, which wants to oust it from its borders, or to Russia, which is pushing for full control of the city in the Syrian Arab state.

Also read: Syria | Non-stop Russian bombings against terrorists in Idlib – VIDEO





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