TURKISH ADVANCES REGISTERED IN NORTHEAST SYRIA: OPERATION PEACE SPRING SITUATION REPORT 12/10/2019

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TURKISH ADVANCES REGISTERED IN NORTHEAST SYRIA:

OPERATION PEACE SPRING SITUATION REPORT 12/10/2019

On the 4th day of Operation Peace Spring, the Turkish ground offensive has registered significant advances. On October 12, 2019, Turkish Defense Ministry announced that the PKK  / YPG controlled town of Rasalayn was captured. Turkish forces and the Syrian National Army,  the indigenous component of the campaign, have first enveloped the militant positions from the West through Tal Halaf and from the East through the Industrial zone of the  town. Upon the decisive offensive, Rasalayn has swiftly fallen. The operating Turkish ground units seized several armored vehicles and weaponry used by the PKK/YPG.

At the time of writing, Turkish Defense Ministry reported that 415 PKK/YPG militants were eliminated since the outset of the campaign.

Recently, the Turkish military launched an offensive through the village of Sharat Tall Musa, situated exactly halfway between Tal Abyad and Rasulayn, marking yet another front for the campaign. Notably, the breakthrough in this province has quickly advanced some 30km, extending to the M4 highway. Open-source intelligence suggests that the Syrian National Army has taken the strategic route linking Qamishli to Aleppo under its control, cutting the PKK / YPG militants’ major lines of communications.

Recent developments also marked a high-risk incident and robust information operations against Turkey. On October 11 overnight, Turkish artillery units, retaliating to PKK/YPG mortar targeting civilian areas in Turkey, hit a zone close to the US forces in Ayn al-Arab. Despite the cyber-enabled disinformation campaign run by the PKK / YPG suggesting American losses, the US Department of Defense announced that no American soldier was killed or injured. Officials from the Pentagon also highlighted that it was unintended.

As the Turkish offensive intensified, the PKK/YPG militants have unleashed barrages of unguided projectiles into civilian-populated areas along Turkey’s border towns. Turkish officials reported 300 mortar attacks only in Nusaybin in the vicinity of Qamishli. The indiscriminate attacks by the PKK/YPG have already claimed 18 lives.