Clashes Between Turkish Forces and Syrian Army in North Syria, State News Reports

Fighting underscores risk of violence as forces struggle for new positions in northeast Syria

Syrian government forces reinforcements arrive near the city of Ras al-Ayn, Oct. 26, 2019
AP Photo

Syrian state news agency SANA said on Sunday there were clashes between the Syrian army and Turkish forces in the countryside around Ras al-Ayn, a town on the Turkish border in northern Syria.

Turkish forces and their allies attacked Syrian government troops in northeastern Syria on Thursday, killing some of them, and they also clashed with Kurdish-led fighters, the state news agency in Damascus and a war monitoring group said.

The Turkish defense ministry said that five Turkish military personnel were wounded around the Syrian border town of Ras al Ain in an attack carried out by the Kurdish YPG militia Thursday, after the militia accused Ankara of attacking the area.

The attack was conducted using drones, mortars and light weapons, the ministry said in a statement, adding that Turkish forces had retaliated the attacks in self-defense.

The fighting underscored the risks of violence as multiple and often opposing armed forces jostle for new positions in the tight quarters of the northeastern border zone.

Most worrisome has been the prospect of a collision between forces of the Syrian government and those backed by Turkey, which include Syrian rebel fighters and Islamic extremists opposed to President Bashar Assad.