The Turkey-backed “National Army” declared it had taken full control over Tel Abyad in the northern Raqqa countryside as part of “Operation Peace Spring” launched by the Turkish army against the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in recent days.
The National Army said on its Telegram platform on Sunday, that it had taken full control over the city after entering from the west, and securing several farms and villages in its environs.
Speaking to Alsouria Net, the official spokesman of the National Army, Youssef Hammoud, said that Tel Abyad was one of the main targets of the military operation and was the first major city taken, in addition to more than 40 villages and farms.
Hammoud added that the control over Tel Abyad was an, “important step that will lead to the collapse of the PYD terrorist gangs between the Tel Abyad and Ras al-Ayn fronts, and will then accelerate the area’s fall.”
Regarding the coming targets after taking Tel Abyad, Hammoud said, “We are aiming to take control over the M4 international highway and the whole area between Ras al-Ayn and Tel Abyad.” He said that taking control over Tel Abyad would help reduce pressure on the Ras al-Ayn front.
The roads between Manbij and Ayn al-Arab toward Hassakeh would also be cut off, as well as the roads leading to the city of Ayn Eissa north of Raqqa.
The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have not yet commented on the National Army’s announcement concerning Tel Abyad.
The Anha news agency reported that 78 members of the National Army had been killed in the city of Ras al-Ayn, and wounded 29 more, and destroyed military vehicles and two vehicles equipped with Dushka machine guns.
The National Army’s control over Tel Abyad came on the fifth day of Operation Peace Spring, launched by Turkey in the border regions of Syria east of the Euphrates against the YPG, which it accuses of affiliation with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party.
Tel Abyad is on the Turkish-Kurdish border and is part of Raqqa province. It enjoys a strategic location on one of the springs of the al-Baleekh river, the al-Arous spring.
The YPG took control of it in 2015 and then included it in a new region under the “Self-Administration“ of north and east Syria.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.