News Alerts

16 Oct 2019 | 02:37 PM UTC

Syria: Russian forces approach Ain al-Arab October 16 /update 10

Syria News Alert

Russian forces approach border town of Ain al-Arab amid Syrian government agreement with SDF October 16; intense fighting reported

TIMEFRAME expected from 10/16/2019, 12:00 AM until 10/19/2019, 11:59 PM (Asia/Damascus). COUNTRY/REGION Ain al-Arab

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Reports indicate that as of Wednesday, October 16, Russian troops have reached areas outside the city of Ain al-Arab along with the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) with the aim of stopping the ongoing Turkish offensive in northeastern Syria. On Tuesday, October 15, intense fighting was reported in the border city of Ras al-Ayn.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has announced Turkey's aim to expel SDF combatants from Manbij and has excluded any cease-fire agreement with the Kurdish-led forces as of Wednesday. 

A heightened security presence and violent clashes between opposing security forces are to be expected throughout northeastern Syria over the coming days and weeks.


On October 14, an agreement was made between the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the Syrian government to deploy along the border with Turkey amid an ongoing Turkish offensive in northeastern Syria. 

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced on October 5, that Turkey will launch a military operation in northeastern Syria in an attempt to expel Syrian Kurdish (People's Protection Units; YPG) forces from the Turkish border. Erdoğan stated that the air and ground operations will extend 30 km (19 mi) into Syria's northeastern border. Turkey considers the YPG to be a terrorist organization linked to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) group in Turkey.

The offensive comes days after US President Donald Trump announced a US military pullback in the region.


Due to extremely poor security conditions, Western governments generally advise against all travel to Syria, with some banning travel to the country. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to any travel to Syria.


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