Assad forces enter Syria’s Raqqa, Russians reach Ayn al-Arab outskirts: reports

DAILY SABAH WITH AGENCIES
ISTANBUL
Published 16.10.2019 16:27
Updated 16.10.2019 21:15
In this Monday, Oct. 14, 2019, photo, released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Assad regime troops deploy in the Tabqa airbase in Raqqa, Syria. (SANA via AP)
In this Monday, Oct. 14, 2019, photo, released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Assad regime troops deploy in the Tabqa airbase in Raqqa, Syria. (SANA via AP)

A group of soldiers loyal to the regime of Bashar Assad has entered the Syrian city of Raqqa and begun setting up some observation posts, a report said Wednesday.

The report by pro-regime al-Mayadeen TV came days after People's Protection Units (YPG) terrorists, who seized the city from Daesh, cut a deal with Assad for his troops to deploy at the border.

The US-backed coalition later withdrew troops from Raqqa and from another city under control of the YPG terrorists, Tabqa.

Meanwhile, Russian forces have crossed the Euphrates river in northern Syria and reached areas outside the city of Ayn al-Arab (Kobani), pushing eastward with the YPG-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the Syrian Observatory said.

On Tuesday, Assad regime forces accompanied by Russian military took the flashpoint city of Manbij under control.

The latest developments come amid Turkey's anti-terror operation in northeastern Syria.

Turkey launched Operation Peace Spring, the third in a series of cross-border anti-terror operations in northern Syria targeting terrorists affiliated with Daesh and the PKK's Syrian offshoot the YPG, on Oct. 9 at 4 p.m.

The operation, conducted in line with the country's right to self-defense borne out of international law and U.N. Security Council resolutions, aims to establish a terror-free safe zone for Syrians return in the area east of the Euphrates River controlled by the U.S.-backed SDF.

The PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union — has waged a terror campaign against Turkey for more than 30 years, resulting in the deaths of nearly 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.

Turkey has long decried the threat from terrorists east of the Euphrates in northern Syria, pledging military action to prevent the formation of a "terrorist corridor" there.

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