After Turkish troops had attacked the strategically important city of Ras al-Ayn, the Kurdish militia, according to several reports to the counterattack have passed. According to activists, they have recaptured the city. Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) militants seized the site after heavy fighting, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported.
Kurdish sources confirmed the counter-attack and the conquest of Ras al-Ayn. The Kurdish militias also captured the nearby village of Tall Halaf on the outskirts of Ras al-Ayn.
In Syrian National Army circles - a coalition of rebel factions fighting alongside the Turkish forces - there has been talk of continuing battles over Ras al-Ayn. The rebels supported by Turkey had launched a heavy attack against the attackers in the border town, it was said.
Syrian government troops have arrived in the Kurdish controlled north
On Monday, Syrian government troops arrived in the Kurdish-controlled north of the country. Their transfer follows an agreement between the SDF and the government of Syria's President Bashar al-Assad and Russia. The SDF had turned to Damascus for help after the announced withdrawal of US troops, but called the agreement a "painful compromise".
Since last Wednesday, an internationally heavily criticized military offensive in Turkey is underway in the Syrian-Turkish border area. Turkey considers the Kurdish militia YPG, against which the offensive is running, as well as its political arm as terrorist organizations.
The YPG maintains close contacts with the banned Kurdish Workers' Party PKK, which is also on the terror list in the US and Europe. The announced withdrawal of US troops by US President Donald Trump is seen as trigger for the escalation.