Turkish forces send reinforcements to Syria’s Raqqa  

RAQQA, Syria (North Press) – Turkish forces sent on Saturday military reinforcements through Tel Abyad border crossing to the town of Ain Issa in the north of Raqqa, northern Syria, amid intensive Turkish shelling and attempts by its affiliated armed factions to advance in Manbij, Ain Issa, and Tel Tamr, north and northeastern Syria.

A military source told North Press that eight Turkish military vehicles along with trucks carrying armored vehicles and artillery entered Tel Abyad border crossing at 05:00 pm and headed to the village of  Sharkrak and Sakira near the town of Ain Issa.

In August, six batches of Turkish military reinforcements  entered areas in northeast Syria through the border crossings of Sere Kaniye (Ras al-Ain) and Tel Abyad.

The new reinforcements came in tandem with the security operation launched by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) on Aug. 27 in the countryside of Deir ez-Zor, eastern Syria, to eradicate Islamic State (ISIS) sleeper cells.

On Aug. 30, the SDF announced the dismissal of commander of Deir ez-Zor Military Council, Ahmad al-Khabil, known as Abu Khawla, from duty, for his involvement “in multiple crimes and violations, including communication and coordination with external entities hostile to the revolution, committing criminal offenses and engaging in drug trafficking, mismanaging of the security situation, his negative role in increasing the activities of ISIS cells,” according to the SDF.

The operation led to the eruption of clashes between the SDF and gunmen affiliated with the dismissed leader and with al-Bashir whose groups are active in the western bank of the Euphrates which is under the control of the Syrian government forces and Iranian-backed militias.

In the past two days, the Turkish forces and Turkish-backed armed opposition factions, aka the Syrian National Army (SNA), increased shelling and attacks on villages on contact lines in Manbij, Ain Issa, and Tel Tamr. They attacked military posts of the Syrian government forces and the SDF.

By Hani Salem