The Turkish Defense Ministry announced on Saturday, October 12, that Turkey had captured the Syrian border town of Ras al-Ain from the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). SDF leaders dispute this claim as the SDF reportedly called for Western allies to close air space above northeastern Syria to Turkish warplanes on Saturday. Violent clashes are reportedly ongoing in the city. 50 civilians have reportedly been killed and 100,000 displaced since the beginning of the Turkish offensive into northeastern Syria on Wednesday, October 9. The Turkish offensive includes artillery fire, airstrikes, and ground attacks.
A heightened security presence and violent clashes between opposing security forces are to be expected in Ras al-Ain and throughout northeastern Syria over the coming days and weeks.
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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