Syria, Kurds deny Turkey has taken battleground border town

BEIRUT/ANKARA: Kurdish forces in northeastern Syria denied Saturday claims by the Turkish defense ministry that its forces had taken the battleground border town of Ras al-Ain, the first in its four-day-old offensive.

“Ras al-Ain is still resisting and clashes are ongoing,” said an official of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces.

An AFP correspondent in the area said Turkish troops and allied Syrian rebels had entered the town but had yet to capture it.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights too reported that the town, a major target of the Turkish offensive, had yet to be overrun.

A senior Turkish security official said Saturday that Turkish-backed Syrian rebels seized control of Ras al-Ain’s town center in northeast Syria on Saturday as Turkey’s offensive against a Kurdish militia in the region entered its fourth day.

“The [Syrian rebel] national army took control of the town center this morning. Inspections are being conducted in residential areas,” the official said.


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