BEIRUT, LEBANON (10:30 A.M.) – The Turkish army, alongside their allied militants, launched new attack against the Syrian Democratic Forces on Thursday, as they targeted the latter’s positions near the key town of ‘Ain ‘Issa.
According to a field source in the Al-Raqqa Governorate, the Turkish army and their allied militants began the attack on Thursday by targeting the Syrian Democratic Forces’ positions at the villages of Al-Musharifah and Al-Jahbal, which are located east of ‘Ain ‘Issa.
The source was unable to confirm whether or not these villages were captured; however, opposition activists posted on social media that the militants had indeed taken control of these areas after fighting with the SDF.
Meanwhile, another report from the field indicated that the Turkish army and its allied militants moved a large number of reinforcements to the ‘Ain ‘Issa countryside, as they prepare for a large-scale operation in the vicinity of this town.
The reinforcements were said to have consisted of hundreds of soldiers, who entered the area with armored vehicles and heavy weapons.
Despite a previous deal with Russia, the Turkish military has ignored any agreement in the area and stepped up their attacks against the Syrian Democratic Forces.
This has prompted the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) to build observation posts in the area, especially in the vicinity of the town.
Turkey’s Buffer Zone
‘Ain ‘Issa is an important town that is located along the strategic Aleppo-Qamishli Highway, which has become a major target for the Turkish army, as it fits their corridor plan in the northern part of Syria.
Turkey’s buffer zone plan is a buffer zone that stretches from the Afrin region to the Al-Hasakah Governorate.
In order to complete this project, Turkey will need to take over the towns of Manbij (northeast Aleppo, Tal Rifa’at (northern Aleppo), ‘Ain ‘Issa (northern Al-Raqqa), and Tal Tamr (northwestern Al-Hasakah).
In the coming months, Turkey’s long-term plan of building this corridor will likely come to fruition, unless the Syrian Democratic Forces or government stop Ankara’s plan to take control of the area.