Syrian army troops engage in clashes with Turkish forces again: SANA
Iran Press TV
Wed Oct 30, 2019 03:07PM
Syrian government troops have engaged in fierce clashes with Turkish military forces near Syria's key border town of Ra's al-Ayn in the northeastern province of Hasakah – a day after a similar incident claimed the lives of seven Syrian soldiers and left several others injured.
Syria's official news agency SANA reported that the fighting took place in the village of Tel al-Ward on Wednesday afternoon. There were no immediate reports about possible casualties.
SANA added that Turkish forces and their allied militants have occupied the villages of Mahmoudiyah and Darbou in the countryside of Ra's al-Ayn. A large number of residents of Tel al-Ward are also leaving the area in the wake of Turkish aggression.
The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported on Tuesday that at least seven Syrian army soldiers had been killed and 14 others injured when fierce exchanges of gunfire broke out between government troops on one hand and Turkish military forces and their allied militants on the other near Ra's al-Ayn.
The Observatory said Turkish-backed militants, under the cover of heavy and violent Turkish fire power and backed by Turkish unmanned aerial vehicles, engaged in skirmishes with Syrian army troops in the areas of al-Arishah, Bab al-Khair and Um Oshbah.
The development came only two days after a similar encounter near Ra's al-Ayn.
Syria's official news agency SANA reported the fighting on Sunday afternoon, saying that the clashes took place after the area came under attack from the Turkish side.
Three days earlier, Turkish forces and their allies had attacked Syrian government troops in northeastern Syria.
SANA said the allies attacked Syrian army positions outside the town of Tal Tamr.
On October 22, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, signed a memorandum of understanding, where they asserted that YPG militants must withdraw from the Turkish-controlled "safe zone" in northeastern Syria within 150 hours, after which period Ankara and Moscow will run joint patrols around the area.
The announcement was made hours before a US-brokered five-day truce between Turkish and Kurdish-led forces was due to expire.
On October 9, Turkish military forces and Ankara-backed militants launched a long-threatened cross-border invasion of northeastern Syria in a declared attempt to push militants from the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) away from border areas.
Ankara views the US-backed YPG as a terrorist organization tied to the homegrown Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has been seeking an autonomous Kurdish region in Turkey since 1984. The YPG constitutes the backbone of the Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
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