Damascus, Ankara in first border zone clash: monitorEuropost
Syrian government forces and the Turkish military clashed on Tuesday for the first time since Ankara launched an offensive in northeastern Syria three weeks ago, a war monitor said. "Heavy fighting erupted for the first time between the Syrian and Turkish armies," the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported, cited by AFP.
The Britain-based monitoring group said artillery and machinegun fire was exchanged near the village of Assadiya, south of the border town of Ras al-Ain.
At least six Syrian soldiers were wounded in the fighting, the Observatory said.
The Turkish military and its Syrian proxies attacked Kurdish forces in northeastern Syria on 9 October with the aim of creating a roughly 30-km deep buffer zone.
Kurdish forces agreed to withdraw from a 120-km long, Arab-majority segment of the 440-kilometre border zone, although clashes have been reported since.
Turkey subsequently reached a deal with the Syrian government's main backer Russia for Kurdish forces to pull back from the entire border area.
Left in the lurch by a US troop withdrawal from the border area, Kurdish forces turned to the government for protection.
Government forces are now expected to deploy along much of the border zone but a 10-km-deep strip is to be jointly patrolled by Russian and Turkish troops, starting from Tuesday.