For the first time since the beginning of the Turkish military offensive in northern Syria, according to activists, there have been direct battles between the Turkish army and the Syrian government forces. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights announced today that Turkish artillery bombardment hit the Syrian troops near the border, after which a firefight had blown up on the outskirts of the village of Assadja.
According to the Observatory, it was the first of such battles since the beginning of the Turkish military operation against the Kurdish People’s Defense Units (YPG) on 9 October. The UK’s mission-critical observatory has a dense network of informants in Syria, but most of the reports are not immediately verifiable.
Disputes agreement with Russia
The internationally controversial mission has the goal to push back the Syrian Kurdish militia from the border area. In the face of the Turkish offensive and the withdrawal of US troops, the administration of the Kurdish autonomous region called on the Syrian army.
Ruler Bashar al-Assad then sent troops to the Turkish border, but avoided both sides so far a direct confrontation. In addition, after eight days of fighting with the YPG, Turkey had agreed a ceasefire for the region with the US to allow the Kurdish fighters to withdraw. Turkey later agreed to extend the ceasefire and joint patrols along the border with Russia.