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article imageTurkish forces clash with Syrian troops near town of Ras al-Ayn

By Ken Hanly     Nov 11, 2019 in World
Heavy fighting has erupted last weekend near the Syrian town of Ras al-Ayn in northern Syria. Turkish forces and those of the Syrian government have been fighting with at least four Syrian troops being killed and several others wounded.
The clashes and casualties
A recent article reports on the fighting: "Intense clashes broke out Saturday between Syrian government troops and Turkish-led forces in northeast Syria, killing at least four Syrian soldiers, the country's state media and an opposition war monitor reported."
According to some reports a cameraman for state-run TV was among those wounded. The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported 4 Syrian soldiers dead and that a general and a paramedic were wounded. The Kurdish news agency Hawar claimed that five Syrian troops were killed and 26 wounded.
Heavy machine gun fire was reported near the village of Um Shaifa that is near Ras al-Ayn. Turkish forces captured the village last month but Syrian forces appear to be attempting to slow any Turkish advance.
The area around the conflict is in dispute
While the area around Ras al-Ayn is well within the 30 km. safe zone claimed by the Turks, it was transferred by the Kurds who controlled the area to the Syrian government forces before Turkey invaded. This has resulted in the Turks coming into conflict with Syrian forces.
Russia has joined Turkey in trying to keep peace within the safe zone area having carried out some joint patrols. However as the appended video shows there are still Kurds in the area who oppose the Turk and Russian presence.
Last week, Russia was able to gain the release of 18 Syrian government forces captured by the Turks.
Turkey opposes US occupation of the Syrian oil fields
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu criticized the US move at the end of a regional cooperation meeting: "To come from tens of thousands of miles away and to say we will put the country's wealth, oil reserves to use is against international law. And we oppose it. These (reserves) belong to the Syrian people and should be used in a way that benefits the people of Syria."
More about Turkey Syria relatios, Syrian civil war, Ras al_Ayn
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