MADRID, Oct. 13 (EUROPE PRESS) –
The Syrian Democratic Forces struggle to regain control of most of the border city of Ras al Ain this Sunday, one of the two cities attacked in the first stages of the Turkish offensive, after a counterattack that has killed 17 troops the rebel allies of Ankara, observers have reported to the Arab chain Al Arabiya.
This Saturday, Turkish security sources said the city was under their control and that the protruding Syrian National Army “was conducting house-to-house inspections.”
However, the network of activists of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported last afternoon of the start of the Kurdish counteroffensive, part of the “tactical withdrawal” announced early Saturday by those responsible for the militias.
The clashes, however, still continue in both Ras al Ain and the second major initial objective of the Turkish forces, Tel Abyan, where their progress is backed by artillery fire.
The UN estimates that the number of displaced people is already around 100,000, although the authorities in the Kurdish area of Syria have raised that balance to more than 190,000. According to this administration, the attacks have resulted in successive waves of displaced people from Dayrik – also known as Al Malikiya – to the border with Iraq.
Turkey aims to create a safe area within Syria to move forward, among other things, in the return of 3.6 million refugees. Erdogan has threatened to let these refugees make their way to Europe if the EU does not support the offensive.