Middle EastSyria

Syrian Army Repels Attack by Turkish Militants Near Strategic Border City

Ankara-backed militants launched a surprise assault on the Syrian Army near the border in a bid to advance to the Tel Tamar District of Hasaka, as the fragile ceasefire between Kurdish militias and militants supported by the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was violated.

The Turkish-backed militants attempted to crack down on the Syrian Army’s lines in Northwestern Tel Tamar, although they were to adhere to the ceasefire in the border region.

The militias would eventually fall short of their plan to capture the town of Ahras, as the Syrian Army was able to swiftly repel the attempted advance by Ankara-backed fighters.

A source from the Syrian Army told AMN that the military will likely beef up their defenses around Tel Tamar in order to prevent a similar attack in the future, adding that if the militants attack again, the Syrian Army will likely have no choice but to get involved in the Ras Al-Ain battle to drive back the Turkish-backed militias.

Syrian army troops had entered four towns in the Tel Tamar District, including Umm Al-Khayr, Al-Salamas, Dshisha and Granada, extending their control over a large part of the Hasaka-Aleppo Highway (M-4). The Turkish-backed militants have already captured several villages near the Tel Tamar District, putting them within striking distance from the Syrian Army positions.

The deployment of the Syrian army forces comes as Kurdish militias in Northern part of the war-torn country face an incursion from neighboring Turkey. Ankara and its allied militants launched a cross-border military operation to destroy the kurdish militias.

It forced Kurdish militias to cut a deal with the Syrian government for army troops to deploy at the border in the face of the Turkish onslaught after the US left them alone to be crushed by Turkish Army and its allied militants. After reaching a deal with the Kurds, the Syrian Army announced it was moving in to secure the strategic border area.

The Syrian government troops have reportedly entered several towns and villages in the middle of the Kurdish-controlled part of the country.

The Kurds in Syria previously enjoyed the protection of the US allegedly in a campaign against the terrorist group. The protection, however, was de facto withdrawn days ago by President Donald Trump, who pulled out American troops that had previously been embedded with the militias.

On Thursday, Ankara agreed to suspend the military operation in Northern Syria for 120 hours to facilitate the withdrawal of Kurdish militias to a distance of about 30 kilometres (some 20 miles) from the border with Turkey. But, the ceasefire is not holding, as both sides are accusing each other of breaking the agreement by launching attacks along the border zone.

Since Turkey launched its invasion of Northern Syria last week, hundreds of Kurdish militants, Ankara-backed militias have been killed and 300,000 people have been displaced, according to the Turkish government, the Kurds and figures released by the UN. 

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