Turkey takes control of Syria's Ras al-Ayn as op enters fourth day
"As part of the successful operations being conducted in the framework of Operation Peace Spring, the town of Ras al-Ayn, located east of the Euphrates, has been brought under control," the ministry announced on Twitter.
The Turkish military, accompanied by Syrian National Army (SNA), has been advancing in villages around Tal Abyad and Ras al-Ayn.
The SNA on early Oct. 12 said they had cut a road connecting Syrian towns along a section of the border where the Turkish army is carrying out its operation.
Youssef Hammoud, spokesman for the Turkey-backed National Army, said fighters had cut the 712 road that links Tel Abyad and Ras al-Ayn - the focal points of the operation that began on Oct. 9.
The road hugs the border in some places and in others extends a number of kilometres (miles) into Syria.
"This advance was on a new and surprise front ... between Tel Abyad and Ras al-Ayn. On this front, they were able to cut the roads linking together Suluk, Tel Abyad, Ras al-Aun with the villages in the area," he said in a statement to Reuters.
He said 18 villages had been captured in the advance.
On Oct. 9, Turkey launched Operation Peace Spring east of the Euphrates River in northern Syria to secure its borders and Syria’s territorial integrity by eliminating terrorist elements and to ensure the safe return of Syrian refugees.
Turkey has said the PKK terrorist group and its extension the YPG/PYD constitute the biggest threat to Syria’s future, jeopardizing the country’s territorial integrity and unitary structure.
The YPG/PKK terrorists accelerated attacks on civilians in Şanlıurfa and Nusaybin district of Mardin, killing 8 at the beginning of the operation and injuring 71, including Anadolu Agency correspondents.
On the second day of the air and land operations, the SNA, which supported the Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch Operations under the name of Free Syrian Army, entered Tal Abyad at noon and Ras al-Ayn in the evening.
The villages of al-Yabisah and Tal Fandar were the first cleared of terrorists as part of the operation, later, the villages of Musheirifa, Dadat, Bir Ashiq and Hamidiyah in Tal Abyad and Kishto in Ras al-Ayn were also cleared of terrorists.
The villages of Lower Kishto west of Ras al-Ayn, Barzan, Al Jadedah and Gisas were also rid of terrorists.
Meanwhile, the SNA disconnected a YPG/PKK supply line through Dirbasiye district in Al-Hasakah.
Asfar Najjar and Tal Halaf villages of Ras al-Ayn district in northern Syria were cleared of terrorists on the third day.
SNA forces are taking security precautions in rescued villages.
A Turkish soldier was killed and three soldiers were wounded in a clash with YPG/PKK terrorists.
Four SNA soldiers were killed in an ambush of terrorists in Tal Abyad district and three others were injured.
Turkish warplanes entered east of Euphrates to a depth of 19 miles (30 kilometers) and hit YPG/PKK targets and around the town of Ayn Issa, affiliated with the YPG/PKK occupied Raqqa.