On Saturday 22 January Turkey and its paid militias attacked the area surrounding Ain Issa district town, including Salih Al-Hemûd, Jahbal, al-Mushirfa (Misêrfe), Fatsa, the M4 highway, Hîşe resort, the road between ar-Raqqah and Ain Issa and the countryside to the east of Ain Issa, by bombardment with heavy weapons. Two civilians died, one of them a 14-year-old boy, ANHA reports.
It is reported that electricity and water mains were also targeted in the villages of Hishê and Xalidiyê. Four civilians were wounded in this attack.
The head of the Office of Media and Information of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) Farhad Shami confirmed the attack on his official Twitter account as follows:
“Two civilians lost their lives, and two others were injured this morning due to a Turkish ground attack & massive artillery shelling on the M4 Road & the villages of al-Mushirfa and Jahbal, east of Ain Issa. Our forces resisted the mercenaries, eliminating five of them. The brutal Turkish attacks coincide with the Daesh terrorist attacks on al-Hasaka prison. Our forces exert efforts to secure the area, resisting Turkish attacks and preventing Daesh detainees from escaping.”
Increasing attacks against Ayn Issa
Having already conducted two offensives into Northeast Syria, Turkey has been intensifying attacks on the district centre of Ain Issa, its villages and the M4 international highway since 2019.
Ayn Issa is located on the M4 highway, 86km southeast of Kobani, 52km north of ar-Raqqah (Reqa) and 45km south of Tell Abyad. Another significant feature of Ayn Issa is that it is the place where the AANES was established. There are many AANES institutions in Ayn Issa.
Also, the M4 international highway, is one of the most important roads connecting the Jizre region to the Euphrates, Manbij and Afrin regions. It also connects all the central cities and regions of Syria.
With full control over the M4 highway, Turkey would be able to separate the three main regions of Northest Syria (Rojava).