Russia Dispatch Reinforcements To Syria’s Ain Issa As Turkish Tanks Hammer The Town

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On December 23 afternoon, Turkish battle tanks shelled the town of Ain Issa in the northern countryside of Syria’s Raqqa. 

The tanks fired high-explosive anti-tank shells at the town outskirts, likely targeting positions of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). The Rojava Media Center shared photos of several shells which failed to explode.

Last week, Turkish forces launched a ground attack on SDF positions near Ain Issa. The attack was a complete failure. However, there are reports of a larger attack being prepared.

Turkish forces are seeking to capture Ain Issa in order to cut off the M4 highway, the spine of transportation in northeastern Syria. The highway links al-Hasakah, Raqqa and Aleppo.

The Russian Military Police, which has a coordination and operations center in Ain Issa, is now reinforcing its troops in the town and its outskirts.

According to the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, on December 24, a convoy of at least 22 Russian military trucks arrived at Ain Issa. The trucks carried logistics and military equipment.

Russia is reportedly pressuring the SDF to hand Ain Issa and its outskirts over to government forces in order to prevent a new Turkish attack on the town. The deployment of fresh reinforcements may be a sign of a nearing agreement.

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