Kurds launch counteroffensive, gain back control over Ras al-Ayn in northern Syria

The Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) has taken Ras al-Ayn back under their control in a counteroffensive after Turkish troops and their allies captured this border town on October 12, the al-Hadath TV channel reported on Tuesday.

According to the channel, there has been fierce fighting between the Kurds and the Turkish-backed Syrian armed opposition units in Ras al-Ayn’s outskirts. The YPG units are currently engaged in an assault in the nearby town of Tell Halaf controlled by the so-called Free Syrian Army. Reports on clashes are also emerging from the border town of Kobane situated on the eastern bank of the Euphrates River.

On Monday, Kurdish troops thwarted the enemy’s plans to cut off a strategic highway running along the border and connecting Syria’s northern city of Aleppo with Al Hasakah, the capital of the Al-Hasakah Province. The attack by the Turkish forces and their allies was repelled. Syrian army units reached the highway near the town of Tel Tamer (30 km away from the border) on Monday. The forces were deployed to the north of the Al-Hasakah Province in agreement with the Kurdish autonomy’s authorities.

On October 9, Turkey launched a new military operation in northern Syria dubbed Peace Spring, which began with airstrikes on positions of Kurdish units. The objective is to create a buffer zone in northern Syria where Syrians refugees could return, Ankara claims. The buffer zone will also establish a security belt along the Turkish border. The Syrian SANA news agency branded the operation as aggression, while the international community condemned Ankara’s actions.