48 hours of Operation “Peace Spring”: Turkey control 10 villages, “SDF” regain control on two villages, and the displaced rise to 75 thousand while the death toll rises to 41 of SDF, 34 of Turkish forces and one Turkish soldier

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights,

October 2019

Fully 48 hours have passed since the moment Turkish forces and their loyal armed factions launched their operations in northern and eastern Syria under the name “Operation Peace Spring” on Wednesday 4:00 pm, during which the border area witnessed fierce clashes between Turkish forces and their loyalist factions on one hand and the Syria Democratic Forces and its military councils on the other, resulting in deaths and injuries on both sides, in addition to the full of some villages under the control of Turkish forces, amid fierce clashes between the two sides. Over the past few hours, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has monitored what has happened on all fronts of the battle, as well as the internal displacement and the death toll caused by indiscriminate Turkish shells targeting civilians throughout northern Syria. Also, the hospital of Ras Al-Ain is now off-duty as a result of the Turkish bombardment after midnight, while the hospital of Tal Abyad is now also off-duty for fear of Turkish targeting.

Civilian casualties and thousands of displaced, Turkish military operation threatens a new humanitarian catastrophe

Since the early hours of Wednesday morning, October 9, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has monitored displacement of civilians from different parts of the Euphrates region, fleeing the Turkish military operation in the area. According to the Observatory’s statistics, the number of displaced exceeded 75,000 civilians displaced from their towns, cities and villages, where the movement of civilians continues from their areas in Tal Abyad, Ras Al Ain, Darbasiyah and other areas east of the Euphrates at the border with Turkey, despite the relative calm and caution witnessed in the area in general except for Tal Abyad and Ras Al-Ain. According to the statistics of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the number of displaced people exceeded 75 thousand civilians toward the depth of the area, including some are now living in open air while others went to al-Raqqa, in addition to the difficult humanitarian situation in the region due to the lack of water in al-Hassakah, the Shelling and the clashes. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights sources on the ground, the towns of Darbasiyah and Ras al-Ain are almost completely empty.

The repercussions of the Turkish military operation known as “Operation Peace Spring” was not confined to the displacement of civilians, but also led to civilian deaths and injuries as a result of indiscriminate shells fired by Turkish forces in different areas. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, documented the death of 4 citizens due to the shelling of Turkish planes on the village of “Ali Albagleh” of “Tal Abyad”, while 3 civilians were killed by a sniper in villages of Tal “Abyad” area, bringing the number of Civilian causalities as a result of the Turkish military operation to 17. The “Syrian Observatory” has documented the death of a child as a result of Turkish missiles, as well as the death of two employees of the “self-administration” in Turkish bombing that targeted the village of “Mtklt” in the countryside of Tal Abyad in the northern countryside of Raqqa, and a man and a citizen Of the Syriac component due to the bombing of Bashiriya neighborhood in the city of “al-Qamishli” by the Turkish forces, in addition to a girl in the bombing targeted the countryside of Qahtaniya. Also, a man was killed in the shelling on the perimeter of Tal Abyad, another in the targeting of the countryside of Ras al-Ain area in the countryside of al-Hassakah, and a man by Turkish sniper in the city of Derbasiyah. The civilian causalities is set to rise as some of them are injured in serious situations.

Meanwhile, the “Syrian Observatory” monitored the aerial bombardment of Turkey targeting the entrance of the city of “Tal Abyad” from the governorate of Raqqa, coinciding with the passage of cars of tribal and civilian delegations coming from al-Raqqa to Tal Abyad to participate in the sit-in called “Tent of human shields” to denounce the Turkish Military Operation, resulting in injuries among the convoy. Reliable sources confirmed to the SOHR, that the Turkish forces targeted the sit-in square by shells, which led to the injuries among the protesters. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also documented the death of one person and the injury of at least seven others, as a result of rocket shelling by the forces of the “Jarablus” military council on the city of “Jarablus” and its vicinity in the north-eastern Aleppo countryside.

10 villages under the Turkish control, aerial bombardment and ground clashes, the SDF regain control of two villages

Over the course of two days, the Syrian Observatory monitored the progress of the Turkish forces and their affiliated factions with intensive air and ground cover in 10 villages of Tal Abyad and Ras Al-Ain areas, where the Turkish forces extended their control over the villages of Tababin, Al-Mishrifah, Tal Finder, Be’er Aashiq, which have been controlled with the help of sleeper cells in the village according to reliable sources, in addition to imposing control over the Farm of Al-Masihi, Hemaydah and Al-Muhaydah in the vicinity of Tal Abyad, as well as the villages of Kashto and Qasas in the axis of Ras al-Ain.

The SOHR also monitored the Syria Democratic forces regain control of the villages of Al-Yabisah and Alluk, while the Turkish warplanes carried out a new series of airstrikes targeting Ras al-Ain city and its villages at the border strip, in addition to Tal Abyad area in Raqqa countryside, amid continuous battles with heavy frequency witnessed on axes in the two areas, while SDF seeks to repel attacks and restore sites it had lost yesterday. The SOHR learned from reliable sources that local gunmen loyal to Ankara, attacked Ras Al-Ain city in the north-western countryside of Al-Hasakah yesterday, where the attack was carried out from 3 sides starting from the villages which these gunmen belong to, they are: the area of Tal Halaf and Al-Sena’a, the area of Al-Darbasiyyeh, and the area of Al-Hasakah – Ras Al-Ain Road, where fierce clashes erupted between the both parties inside the neighborhoods of the city, amid intense shelling, which resulted in the killing of a number of members of the SDF. According to the sources; the local gunmen were imprisoned in the custody of the SDF on charges of “communication with Turkey and espionage for the Islamic State” before the SDF released them.

In Umm al-Khair village, south of Ras al-Ain, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights observed fierce clashes between the internal security forces (Asayish) and armed cells loyal to Turkey, where the clashes continued for hours during which the road was cut off from “Ras al-Ain” to “al-Hasakah”, resulting in the death of 9 militants in addition to three of the Asayish militants. Turkish artillery also shelled the outskirts of the village of Ain Dewar in the countryside of the city of Al-Malikiyah.

At the same time, the Syrian Observatory observed fierce clashes on the outskirts of the city of “Darbasiyah” in Hasakah countryside, as a result of an attack by Turkish forces and their loyalist factions in an attempt to storm the city, amid intense and fierce shelling on the fighting axes in addition to mutual targets with heavy machine guns. Meanwhile, the Turkish forces bombed areas in the vicinity of the villages of Zuhairiyah and Jum Sharaf in the countryside of Malikiyah, and the “SDF” shot down a reconnaissance aircraft in the skies of the “Qasr Deeb” in the countryside of Malikiyah. Also, The Syrian Observatory monitored fierce clashes on the axes of Manbej city, northeast of Aleppo, between the Turkish-backed factions on the one hand and the Manbej military council on the other hand, accompanied by shelling and mutual targets, amid information about casualties between the two sides.

The death toll among the Syrian Democratic Forces, military councils and internal security forces has increased as a result of aerial and ground bombardments and clashes with Turkish forces and their loyalist factions since the beginning of the Turkish military operation yesterday afternoon to 41, while the death toll of the Syrian factions loyal to “Ankara” and Turkish-backed cells during the clashes with SDF during the same period raised to 34, including 13 sleeper cell militants loyal to Turkey, who were killed due to the clashes with the SDF, in addition to the death of one Turkish soldier so far during the clashed in the axis of “Tal Abyad”. The number of those killed is likely to rise because of the presence of dozens of wounded, some in serious cases, as well as having information about other deaths that the SOHR was not able yet to document.

As documented by the SOHR through its various sources, four members of the Syrian Democratic Forces were killed in the targeting of Turkish planes on the brigade 93 headquarter in the region of “Ain Issa”, while the Syrian Observatory documented the killing and wounding of several elements of the “SDF” as a result of air strikes carried out by Turkish aircraft on the al-Sina’a area in Ras al-Ain. Also, Turkish factions managed to cut off the Ras al-Ain-Derbasiyah road, taking advantage of the clashes at al-Sina’a hub. As a result of the violent clashes, the Syrian Observatory learned that the Deir Ezzor Military Council had sent military reinforcements to the Syrian-Turkish border to repel Turkish attacks, while the Military Council of al-Hol had sent troops to the border to support SDF and other military councils there.

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