by Tyler Durden
In an intensifying situation which could mean major war between two state powers is on the horizon, Syrian state news agency SANA has reported “heavy” ongoing clashes between the Syrian Army and Turkish forces since Sunday. Turkish authorities also confirmed the clashes on Wednesday.
Fighting has centred around the northern Syrian town of Ras al-Ayn on the border with Turkey, which initially broke out last last week, resulting multiple reported deaths of Syrian troops, according to Reuters. At least six Syrian military personnel were reported killed by Turkish fire on Tuesday.
Underscoring the reality of a crowded battlefield with multiple actors, from which US forces just partially extricated themselves, both pro-Assad and Syrian Kurdish forces have come under Turkish attack. There’s also been fighting reported around Manbij.
Turkey’s military has accused the Kurdish YPG of launching attacks on its forces using mortars, drones and light weapons, which has resulted in at least five Turkish soldiers wounded.
Early this week multiple videos surfaced online via Syrian jihadist accounts showing Turkish-backed ‘rebel’ groups bragging about executing Syrian soldiers, as many as 20.
Clashes at Ras al-Ayn illustrate the scramble to secure territory by each side in the wake of US withdrawal from the border area — Kurdish YPG forces hold the town under Turkish assault, while Syrian troops have reportedly been invited in with agreement of Kurdish forces.
The Syrian Army entered the area in northern Hasakah province just days ago for the first time in seven years
Meanwhile, on Wednesday Turkey’s vice president condemned the passage of a US House resolution and a bill passed in the US House the day prior, saying it’s “against the spirit of the Syria agreement” brokered with Mike Pence and backed by the White House.
The House voted overwhelmingly to pass a resolution recognising the Armenian genocide which began in 1915, an extremely sensitive issue for Turkey, as well as to pass new biting economic sanctions over its Syria incursion – the latter which Trump is expected to reject.